The Innocent Martyrs
‘Where do the stars disappear when the daylight arrives’, I used to ask my mother when I was a little boy of three or four years. And my mother would always smilingly reply, ‘The stars never disappear; they simply come down on the earth and convert into flowers; you are my flower; you are my star’. That was really a very beautiful answer; I realize it now when my mother herself has gone to heaven. After spending almost half a century here in this world of dreams and desires, I feel the most trust-worthy and the most confident relationship is that of a mother and a child. In love of their children, mothers sacrifice all that they have and all that they own; but sometimes mothers have to sacrifice their children too. In Islamic societies such type of sacrifice is known as ‘Shahadat’. In the history of humanity, the 16th December 2014 would always narrate a strange story of the same type in which mothers of more than 134 innocent children had to bear the sacrifice of their children in the largest interest of their nation and their country. Their innocent children were brutally slaughtered as if they were animals, not human beings. And the most pathetic and unfortunate aspect of this story is that this slaughtering was done in the name of religion.
Sources reporting upon The Terrorist Attack on the Army Public School Peshawar say that the uniforms of school going innocent children ranging from seven to eighteen years of age were blood drenched and most of the dead bodies were unable to be identified after completion of the rescue operation. An eye-witness of the incident said talking to the media, ‘The terrorists did not intend to take any hostages but instead wanted to kill as many pupils as they could. As the terrorists opened fire, many of the pupils ran toward the two exits on the other side of the auditorium, but many of them were gunned down in the garden. The pupils were forced to watch killing of their teachers and their school principal.’ All the terrorists were foreign nationals, including one Chechen, three Arabs and two Afghans.
Some of the analysts are of opinion that the terrorist attack on the APS Peshawar had a great resemblance with the Beslan School Siege in Russia which started on 1st September 2004, lasted for three days and involved the capture of over 1,100 people as hostages including 777 children. The siege ended with the death of at least 385 people including 186 children. The hostage-takers were allegedly from the Riyadus-Salikhin Battalion, sent by the Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, who demanded recognition of the independence of Chechnya in UN and Russian withdrawal from Chechnya. But in the APS tragedy the terrorists did not present any demands; their only aim and objective was to murder as many children as they could. In short this horribly tragic incident was the ever-worst example of brutality and cruelty even in the history of terrorism.
Why were these innocent children treated with such callousness; so many people ask the question; what was their crime and what was their sin. The only sin of these innocent butchered ones was that they belonged to the families of the army-men, retired as well as in-service. The terrorists just wanted to punish the Army for its actions against the terrorists and for that purpose they opted for such a cowardly way. It is a tradition and it is a culture that throughout the world no one drags the children and the women in the war of revenge but in the APS Peshawar even this tradition was violated. Another important thing to be noted is that the date selected for this massacre was the same on which Pakistan was detached from it eastern part 43 years back in 1971. That separated part is now known as Bangladesh. Someone said commenting upon the APS tragedy, ‘The APS Tragedy was a gift to Pakistan on birthday of Bangladesh’. Everyone knows that the creation of Bangladesh was the result of a conspiracy hatched by India and during his visit to Bangladesh a few months back, Mr. Modi had also admitted his country’s involvement in that conspiracy; so it could be easily guessed who could be behind this tragedy.