Turning grief into action: How Pakistan’s citizens face off the state’s demons

Terrorists Attack PakistanDeath visited Peshawar on Tuesday, the 16th of December, 2014. It brought one of the gravest tragedies that the city had seen so far. The school massacre may have ended 141 lives, but it put a halt also to a far larger number of dreams. As opposed to the routine and custom condemnations that came out of earlier massacres of relatively only little less proportions, large parts of the Pakistani public seems to have been stunned beyond horror this week. The grief in the country can be felt in the streets, homes, offices, schools, colleges, universities and in public spaces of protest such as vigils held across the length and breadth of the country.

As it looks right now, little positive change might accrue at the state level. Former state functionaries such as Pervez Musharraf and their reaction to the incident, publically championed by some segments of the youth, tells why that might be so. Angrily frothing at the American television channel CNN’s coverage of the massacre, he alleged that the militants who struck the school were trained by RAW, the Indian intelligence agency, and refused to admit that the state’s own past policy might have created an environment through which such a horrific massacre could have been enabled.

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Let us never forget

Pakistanis are a strange lot; we have witnessed more than our fair share of violence, extremism, dead bodies and devastation. While some believe we have become a brave and resilient nation in the process, there are others who fear that after being subjected to violence on such a large scale it has desensitized us.  Today, we mourn the death of 132 innocent children and 9 staff members killed ruthlessly by terrorists in Peshawar.

To say the least, this blatant show of barbarity has moved every soul in a strange way- there is grief, there is anger and then there is grief again like never before. There is also disbelief; what animosity could the killers hold against these children?  Did their hands not shiver while shooting these innocent souls one after the other? Why did they not pay heed to their pleading eyes and silent cries of mercy?

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An unbelievably apt protest struts the centre of Islamabad

Civil society activists gather outside Lal Masjid in Islamabad on Thursday. In the other picture, two women light candles as policemen stand guard. — Photos by Tanveer ShahzadStaff at the capital’s Lal Masjid found themselves in an unexpected situation on Thursday evening when a large number of civil society activists, politicians and students arrived at the mosque chanting slogans against the chief cleric and lighting candles as part of a vigil.

The candlelight vigil and protest was organised in response to a statement by the mosque’s chief cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz in which he refused to condemn the massacre of students and teachers in a terrorist attack on a school in Peshawar.

In a late night move, however, Islamabad police registered a First Information Report (                     of the protest on the complaint of the mosque management.

Earlier, following the announcement of the candlelight vigil on social media, shared with the hash tag ‘reclaim our mosques’ police closed the road in front of the mosque to traffic and deputed police personnel on the median. Continue reading An unbelievably apt protest struts the centre of Islamabad

Time to press for an overhaul

By Minahil K.

Time for a rethinkIn India, Ajit Doval inspires the envy of many—he is dubbed as the one man army, rightist Modi’s right hand man, the man-in-charge of India’s external and internal security. His omnipresence within post-Modi India’s intelligence and policy circles is noticeable. It is rumored that Modi had already made up his mind to appoint Doval, a former intelligence chief instead of a diplomat as the NSA even before election results came out—an issue that sparked a debate when the BJP came into power. Beyond his extremely successful career in police and intelligence, Doval’s role as the founding member of the Vivekananda International Foundation (an RSS affiliated organization) in addition to his anti-Pakistan stance is likely to have made him a more eligible candidate for the position in Modi’s eyes.

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The world condemns Peshawar massacre

The Presidents of Russia, Iran and PMs of Nepal, Japan expressed grief, sorrow over loss of precious lives.

World leaders continue to condemn the horrible attack on a school in Peshawar.


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Peshawar school attack – the inhuman side of TTP

A Pakistani soldier shows a burned-out room to media at the army-run school attacked by Taliban militants

(By Afshaq Yusufzai, Peshawar and Richard Spencer) The wounded children of Peshawar Army Public School paid tributes to the teachers who died saving their lives yesterday as Pakistan woke to the Taliban massacre’s full horror.

Nine staff members, including the headmistress, were killed in the attack, along with more than 130 pupils. As some survivors died overnight, the overall death toll was raised to 148.

The Taliban attackers reserved particularly horrific deaths for the adults, pouring fuel over at least three and setting them alight and killing the head, Tahira Qazi, with a hand grenade.

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Taliban’s senseless desperation behind their brutality

By David Rothkopf

Soldiers for Ignorance Why the Taliban can’t win in its fight against the future — and other bad omens for 2015.

Jihadis are waging the most futile war possible. Perhaps that explains the senseless desperation behind their brutality. They are not battling America or the West or regimes that seek to end their violence. Rather, their enemy is the future.

Which is why on Tuesday we witnessed once again their depravity, as it was unleashed against schoolchildren in both Pakistan and Yemen. At the Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar, over 130 boys and girls died and the overall death toll at the time of this writing was 145. South of Sanaa in Yemen, two car bombs destroyed a school bus, killing 15 girls.

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Army starts retaliatory operations against terrorists

Initial reports reveal Peshawar attack was planned in first week of Dec by Mullah Fazlullah

Pakistan Army struck back at Islamist terrorists on Wednesday evening by killing at least 57 militants in Khyber Agency’s Tirah Valley in airstrikes, as police investigators revealed that the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar had been planned in the first week of December in an area close to the Pak-Afghan border. Continue reading Army starts retaliatory operations against terrorists

Pakistani Student’s Association at NYU – mourns Peshawar attack victims

Candle Light Vigil for Peshawar

Event in New York

5 Avenue, Waverly Place, West 4th and MacDougal Streets, New York
Tuesday 16 December 2014, 18:00
Organized by : Mahin Shamsi


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TTP’s choice of target has a deadly symbolic meaning

Pakistan is no stranger to militant attacks, but the brutal assault that left at least 132 children dead at an army-run school in Peshawar on Tuesday shocked the nation.

It also drew international condemnation, from the likes of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which involved at least nine suicide attackers opening fire inside the school. At least nine adults were also killed, according to a military spokesman.

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