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APS Attack: Six years of remembrance (Opinion)

By Meerum Awan.

Six years after the deadliest attack of terrorism the nation had experienced and the untimely instances of depravity that the politics of this country has ever seen, let’s not pretend that “we haven’t forgotten.”

The outbreak of terrorism in the heart of Peshawar instigated an anomalous sense of anguish in the collective consciousness of the Pakistani people and yet escaped the establishments’ ad infinitum. The state has been out rightly overlooking how these individuals are not just some more meagre civilians filing for a regularly dismissive government fund but victims/witnesses of the bloodcurdling attack on Pakistan whose shocks were felt on an indescribable level.

Advocate Fazal Khan, who lost his son’s life in the attack, is not backing down until he has seen all those responsible to be punished. The state did put on quite a show with the expulsion of these army officials whose incompetency was vehement in this case, the care with which the findings of the report have been put together, clearly shows the state and institutional powers alike, washing their hands elusively.

Why do they only label the injured as survivors of the attack? They are all survivors and firsthand witnesses of the attack, all 960 and 121 of them. Years after the attack, and the parents are still demanding justice from the state of Pakistan. The families of the victims and survivors faced a rather shrewder terror upon hearing  the news of the most  disconcerting fiasco resulting in the escape of the high profile terrorist, TTP spokesperson, Ehsanullah Ehsan, who claimed responsibility of the Peshawar attack by coming out on the media, which he has also done for several other major terrorist attacks in Pakistan. So much for the rehabilitation and psychotherapy for all the children and adults who witnessed the massacre.

Having already displayed his political iniquity making paramount disappointments at the time of the tragedy, Imran is still not done with disappointing the families yet again with the recent findings of the judicial commission.

The fight for justice for the martyrs and survivors of the most unnervingly inexpressible violence in the history of Pakistan and the likes of which the world has never seen, has seemed to have been significantly carried on by APS Shuhada forum. Fazal Khan has been vividly clear about his demands from the commission for investigating the Warsak-Road attack. While carrying the responsibility of representing the most distraught individuals in the nation, he only demands that those responsible for the security lapses be brought to impartiality.

After struggling and staging protests that stayed uncovered in the media for two years, the APS Shuhada Forum finally got their demand of a probing commission and after waiting for another two years with the memories of the ones who were lost, the government finally set up an inquiry commission. Only so they could sensationalize a terrorist attack on children in an area heavily guarded by the army as a “treachery and betrayal”.

As disappointing as it must be for him, Fazal Khan is still churning with questions about why the massacre happened in the first place. Why weren’t the threats appropriately and timely addressed?

The question becomes rather nerve-wracking after a while as one apprehends surveillance and patrolling surrounding the offices of the Station Commander, Lieutenant General, District Commissioner, Chief minister, Police Headquarters and last but not the least, ISI Headquarters as the building of the APS is situated in the same vicinity.

Even after being made to personally and tragically experience the consequences of the poor militarization of a Pakistan’s essentialist extremist anomalies committed by the state of Pakistan and an attempt at his life, Fazal Khan is still standing firmly on his demands and doesn’t sound rigid when asking the government about its measure for the families victims of the Peshawar attack.

Perhaps, it will be entirely coherent to say that only the families of those affected by the massacre that took place on Warsak-road truly understand the positions of power that are the main players of this politically militarized King game.

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