Pakistan School reopens after deadly Taliban attack

Security is tight as children return to school after Taliban attack that killed 150 people in Peshawar last month

Islamabad – Students in Pakistan resumed their classes on Monday amid tight security measures after Pakistan’s worst terrorist attack in Peshawar that killed 150 people, most of them school children.

Peshawar’s schools, including Army Public School that witnessed the deadly Taliban attack in mid December, reopened for the first time since the deadly attack on Army Public School on 16 December 2014.

Security forces have been deployed at the main entry point of the Army Public School (APS), with a security gate installed at the front.

High boundary walls with steel wire fencing have been installed in schools across the country.

Shahrukh Khan, a teenage victim – shot in both legs – of deadly attack told AFP that he had lost 30 of his friends and that he will have mixed feelings sitting in an empty class.

“I have lost 30 of my friends. How will I sit in the empty class, how will I look towards their empty benches?” he told AFP before the school reopened.

“My heart has been broken. All the class fellows I had, have died. Now my heart does not want to attend school,” he added.

While, another survivor, Zahid Ayub, said he was not scared to attend his school.
“I will go and will tell the attackers, we are not afraid of you,” he added.

Parents spoke of having to sit down with their children and mentally prepare them for their return to the school, which has undergone a complete renovation to remove all traces of the bloody attack.

“He was terrified but we talked him up. We cannot keep him imprisoned between four walls and we must stand against militancy,” Muhammad Zahoor said as he walked his son along the city’s main Warsak Road.

General Raheel meets APS students as school reopens after Peshawar attack

On Monday morning Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif visited the Army Public School, Peshawar – target of the December 16 attack – as it reopened after an extended winter break. The COAS, along with his wife, met the schoolchildren and their parents at the entrance of the army-run school.

The vacations, in schools across the country, were extended for 12 days in the aftermath of the Taliban attack on Army Public School (APS) that killed 150 people in the Peshawar.

Following the Peshawar attack, Pakistan lifted the moratorium on the death penalty in place for about six years. Seven militants have since been hanged and two more will be executed on Wednesday.

Army chief Raheel Sharif speaks with students at Peshawar Army Public School that reopened on January 12.  Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
Army chief Raheel Sharif speaks with students at Peshawar Army Public School that reopened on January 12.
Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

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