Bereaved parents of the victims of the 2014 Army Public School (APS) terror attack have protested against the government’s reconciliation talks with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Journalist Iftikhar Firdous posted a picture on Twitter in which parents held placards to register their disapproval of the peace talks in Peshawar. Several held pictures of their martyred children to remind the government of their loss.
Parents of some of the children who died in the terrorist attack in the Army Public School (APS) protested in Peshawar against the peace talks and amnesty offer to militant outfits. pic.twitter.com/NkSOnOUMrC
— Iftikhar Firdous (@IftikharFirdous) October 7, 2021
Earlier last week, the PM in an interview with TRT World said that some members of the TTP wanted to hold talks with the government. He added that if TTP gave up their arms, they would be pardoned and would enjoy privileges like any other citizen in Pakistan. The PM maintained that he was against an aggressive, weapon-heavy strategy to deal with the proscribed group and would work towards reconciliation instead of mere surrender of the militant operatives.
Can Pakistan PM Imran Khan convince the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan to lay down arms? Here is what Khan had to say in an exclusive interview to TRT World’s Ali Mustafa in Islamabad pic.twitter.com/sHgWX66A1Y
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) October 1, 2021
When news of peace talks broke, a local digital media outlet collected testimonies of parents, many of whom wondered whether the PM realized the gravity of their loss in pardoning their children’s killers.
A martyr’s sister wondered whether Khan had thought about consulting with APS parents before thinking about forgiveness for the TTP.
"I want to ask the PM if he thought about consulting the families of the #APSMartyrs before forgiving the #TTP because you might have decided to forgive him but we have not," says Palwasha Amin, sister of martyr Ghaseen Khan. #NeverForget pic.twitter.com/JCCZMK4Ym8
— Voicepk.net (@voicepkdotnet) October 2, 2021
Moreover, a mother who lost two sons said she was still waiting for justice and everyone in the government seemed to have a cavalier attitude towards the attack.
Another mother whose son succumbed to TTP’s brutality said that pardoning would pave the way for more TTP attacks on innocent Pakistanis.
On December 16, 2014, a group of TTP militants stormed APS in Peshawar in the morning hours when throngs of students were going about their daily activities. TTP opened fire at innocent children killing 132 out of 150 casualties, seven of which were the decimated terrorists themselves. 141 were also injured in the attack that has often been called ‘Pakistan’s 9/11’.