On December 16, 2014, seven terrorists belonging to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) barged into Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan and started firing indiscriminately at the students. The mad orgy of killing continued for around eight hours that left 141 dead including 130 school children aged between 8 and 16.
In Pakistan’s chequered history that dates back to its creation in 1947, there had never been anything more gruesome. As soon as the news and images of the attack reached Kashmir, it shocked every sane person out of his wits. Only question that remained on people’s lips was: how can anybody kill school going children that too so heartlessly. What kind of Jihad or for that matter revenge is that? Even in the worst of wars, women and children were spared from such a brute show of power. But then you can expect anything from TTP that has infested Pakistan in last many years.
For TTP schools and school going children have always been soft target that they attack at will whenever they want to make their presence felt in Pakistan. But being Muslims their acts easily get tagged under one broader category i.e. Muslim fundamentalism and intolerance. It gives fodder to international media to term every Muslim as barbaric and mindless terrorist who is hell bent to create chaos in the otherwise civilized world. But Peshawar attack has made one thing clear to the world – TTP does not represent Muslims or for that matter Islam. They are just as bad as any other terrorist organization operating from in any other part of the world, irrespective of their religion or region. TTP cannot be representatives of Islam. They are simply terrorists who do not care about human lives in order to achieve their vested political interests. Targeting civilian establishments for seeking military revenge is not brave. It is cowardly. It only shows the kind of sickness that TTP is infested with that makes them kill more than hundred kids inside a school.
But what pained people more was the way terrorists had killed these children – almost everybody was shot in the head with clean precision. They did not spare anybody as they went classroom after classroom killing these helpless kids.
For next three days television screens across the world remained filled with images of shattered parents carrying coffins of their loved ones for burial. These images struck Kashmir’s already bruised psyche as people could easily relate with them. They (Kashmiris) too have witnessed funerals of their loved and tender ones in last two and half decades of conflict.
Let us remember all those innocent kids killed in Peshawar and Kashmir and pray for their departed souls. Let Almighty rest their tender souls in peace. Amen.