The deadly attack on Army Public School Peshawar is still considered one of the most gruesome terror attacks in Pakistan, rightly so because over 120 innocent Pakistanis mostly children lost their lives to this attack.
Few days back the honourable Supreme Court has summoned Prime Minister Imran Khan in Army Public School Peshawar attack case.
The country’s Prime Minister while responding to the court’s queries reiterated that the government is willing to take further action if the court orders and that there is no sacred cow in the country.
The Prime Minister also faced some harsh remarks from the judiciary, whereas the media tried to make it a hot topic, ignoring various causes, aspects, effects of the War on Terror and the steps taken by the state in APS case.
For example, a high-level commission was set up to investigate the tragedy and a comprehensive 225-page report published recently in this regard. The report includes statements from several other officers, including the former corps commander of Peshawar and key officials of the three intelligence agencies. The report also mentioned the steps being taken at the state level to impart justice to the victims and their mental rehabilitation.
The report also provides details on the issue of security lapses and mentions institutional actions taken against the top officials who faced accountability and action after the incident. It is pertinent to mention that strict action taken at institutional level against officials for negligence including dismissal of some security personnel and the imprisonment of several others. Five soldiers, for example, were sentenced to 28-year in prison.
In the same way, five officers, including a major dismissed while on the other hand, four senior military officers including ten more officers also faced various punishments. The report makes it very clear that some security officials in the area, including the school administration, did not take the necessary security measures despite the threat of attacks. However, later under the National Action Plan, a plan formulated for all educational institutions, a number of operations carried out in which hundreds of other attackers including the mastermind of the APS tragedy eliminated.
It merits a mention here that more than 20 children of military officials including three female teachers were also among the martyred during the APS tragedy. In such a scenario, taking political advantage of this national tragedy is unfortunate.
In February 2015 about 12 terrorist involved in APS attack were arrested. Of these six each arrested from Pakistan and Afghanistan. These terrorists include Kifayatullah alias Kaif, Mujeebur Rehman alias Ali, Ateequr Rehman alias Usman, Molvi Abdul Salam alias hazrat Ali, Qari Sabeel alias Yahya Afridi arrested from Pakistan and five of them were hanged whereas one death penalty case is pending in the court.
The state had also taken exemplary measures for the mental and economic rehabilitation and assistance of the families affected by the APS tragedy an implemented three different packages for the heirs of the martyrs. As far as the impression that the victims have not received justice is concerned, there are more than one opinions and parents are still eager to see strict punishment to remaining facilitators of the attack. However, it is not fair to say that the state did not fulfill its responsibilities or punish those responsible