Half a decade to APS Attack - Pakistan has come a long way
Exactly half a decade gone to the deadliest terrorist attack is Pakistan's history, yet pain and anguish hasn't lessened a bit.
16.12.14 was not only a date but these figures sadly represent the ages of martyrs too. Yes, 16, 14, 12 were the digits and some were even younger than these. It was indeed one of the saddest days in history of human kind.
The fifth anniversary of Black Day was observed on Monday in Pakistan. In the memories of beloved martyred sons, their parents and many others across the country held a candlelit vigil on APS Shuhuda Memorial located outside the Peshawar Archives Library this weekend and it was evident how an earth shattering experience it was for all the families.
Pakistan, who was already under a war-on-terror state, fought this heinous and cowardly act with bravery and courage; policies and laws against convicted terrorists were reformed and thus Pak Army did various successful operations against Taliban soon after the tragedy. After this devastating attack by TTP which killed about 150 people, the government instituted a 20-point National Action Plan against extremism, which included measures for regulating religious institutions and trying terrorism suspects before military tribunals instead of civilian courts. Although at the outset the plan appeared to have widespread support throughout Pakistani society, political and institutional rivalries soon re-emerged, hampering implementation.
Pakistani forces had launched at least 10 air strikes on the Taliban in the wake of the school attack. Government also vowed that the Zarb-e-Azb offensive against the Taliban in Pakistan would continue and it reintroduced the death penalty for terrorism related cases, following what was Pakistan’s worst terrorist incident.
This brutal attack didn't only affect the families concerned, it shook the government, armed forces and all the law enforcing agencies to the core. State agencies were both in a state of shock and in a hurry to take some urgent serious action on policy level as the attackers were not only killers, they were a mindset which had many shapes and which needed to get countered abruptly. Thus, National Action Plan (NAP) was formulated as a counter strategy to avoid such traumatic incidents in future.
Such strict measures against Terrorists resulted into regaining control over law and order situation of the country not only at that point of time but for the years to come.
However, by now, even when Pakistan has regained peace and international teams are coming to the country for cricket and business usual is going better than ever, people of Pakistan still grieve and mourn over 16 December tragedy as it still is Sub-Continent's greatest trauma of this decade.