Tuesday’s terrorist attack in Peshawar has plunged Pakistan into deep mourning. Never has the country seen the kind of callous orchestration of an attack as witnessed yesterday – one whose target was defenceless children in a school.
The government has announced a three-day mourning but the deadly siege at Army Public School that led to 141 deaths – out of which 132 were of children – and countless injuries almost immediately led to outpourings of condemnations and grief from across the country and internationally.
Several parts of Pakistan also saw people gathering for condemnation, mourning and candlelight vigils Tuesday night to show solidarity with the children and all others affected in the attack that lasted several hours. Most of those killed will likely be laid to rest today.
While schools are closed in parts of the country, a number of educational institutions will remain open and also offer prayers for the victims of the massacre. Government buildings and Pakistani missions world over will have their flags lowered to half-mast for the three days of mourning.
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Khursheed Shah says terrorism is national issue
Speaking to media representatives after attending the MPC, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah said there is a complete consensus among political parties of the country on the terrorism issue.
He expressed his resolve to stand shoulder to shoulder with the armed forces in their ongoing fight against terror. Shah also urged the media to play a proactive role in eradicating terrorists from the country.
The PPP leader said that even Israeli state does not carry out such atrocities on Palestinians like the terrorist did to young kids yesterday at the school in Peshawar.
President Mamnoon rejects mercy petitions of convicted terrorists
President Mamnoon Hussain has turned down mercy petitions of eight convicted terrorists after the government lifted the moratorium on death sentences.
The mercy petitions were pending in the presidency since 2012 and today the president rejected these mercy petitions by exercising his powers, a presidential source told Dawn.
Following rejections of these appeals, orders of executions have been passed onto various prisons for hanging of the terrorists.
Counter-terrorism committee should be constituted at the earliest: Imran Khan
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan says that a counter-terrorism committee should be constituted at the earliest, adding that it should submit its report within a week's time.
He says the nation had witnessed a tragedy which required everyone to forget their differences and become united.
Khan says that following the APC, he would again return to Islamabad in order to partake in his party's protests against the federal government.
The PTI chairman says that his party would also hold consultations over its future course of action in an important meeting.
PM says no distinction now between good and bad Taliban
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that there is now no distinction between ‘good and bad Taliban’ and that the country was united to fight the menace of terrorism.
“This conference expresses profound grief over the tragedy which has no equal in history…Terrorism and the fight against extremism is our fight.
"To defeat it we must unite…our armed forces have given many sacrifices to defeat terrorists and root out their hideouts," the PM said.
“This fight will continue until all terrorists are defeated”
He said that a counter-terrorism plan will be formulated by next week.
“We have decided that all parliamentary and political leaders will decide a national consensus to defeat terrorism,” the PM said.
He said that this plan will also also be formulated with officials from the intelligence agencies.
Pope Francis condemns attacks in Australia, Pakistan, Yemen
Pope Francis on Wednesday condemns what he called “inhuman terrorist acts” in three different countries this week and prayed that violent militants be converted to peace.
“I would like to pray together with you for the victims of the inhuman terrorist acts carried out in the past few days in Australia, Pakistan and Yemen,” he says to tens of thousands of people at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.
Read more here: Pope Francis condemns attacks in Australia, Pakistan, Yemen
Terrorists using Afghan soil to carry out attacks in Pakistan, COAS tells Afghan leadership
During his visit to Kabul, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif tells Afghan civil and military leadership that terrorists are using Afghan soil to carry out attacks in Pakistan.
The COAS shared classified intelligence details with the Afghan officials. The Army chief also briefs the Afghan leadership that the mastermind behind the Peshawar attack was giving directives to terrorists from Afghanistan.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says Afghanistan stands with the people of Pakistan in their hour of grief.
The army chief also met ISAF commander General Joseph Dunford. Dunford condemned the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar and assured General Raheel of complete cooperation in countering terrorism and security related matters.
The COAS has reiterated Pakistan's demand to Kabul to hand over Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah.
Read more here: Gen Raheel visits Kabul, seeks handover of Mullah Fazlullah
Balochistan mourns Peshawar carnage
Political parties, members of civil society and human rights activists condemn the cold-blooded murder of children in Army Public School in Peshawar.
Members of students organisations, human rights activists and political parties marched on different roads of Quetta to mourn the brutal attack.
Activists of Pashtoonkhwa Students Organisation protesting against Peshawar carnage. — Photo by Syed Ali Shah
— Reported by Syed Ali Shah
The national flag flies at half mast to mourn victims killed in Tuesday’s Taliban attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, Dec 17, 2014. - AP
Army soldiers stand outside the auditorium of the Army Public School a day after an attack on the school, in Peshawar, Dec 17, 2014. - AP
Army soldiers stand inside the Army Public School a day after Tuesday's attack, in Peshawar, Dec 17, 2014. - AP
Views from the MPC
A view of the MPC meeting in progress. — Courtesy Prime Minister House
Speaking during the MPC, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan calls for the formation of a committee comprising of counter-terrorism experts that can submit a report over the incident within a week.
JI chief Sirajul Haq says joint efforts should be made to end terrorism and 2015 should be declared as the year for peace.
ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan says we should end our ego to resolve the issue once and for all.
PML-Q's Mushahid Hussain Syed says: "If terrorism can end in Tamil Nadu, then why not in Peshawar?"
— Reporting by Zahir Shah Sherazi
An army spokesman briefs the media at the Army Public School a day after it was attacked in Peshawar, Dec 17, 2014. - AP
Chairs are upturned and blood stains the floor at the Army Public School auditorium the day after Taliban gunmen stormed the school in Peshawar, Dec 17, 2014. - AP
An infographic showing the deadliest attacks in Pakistan. - AFP
Three more victims succumb to wounds
Three more victims of yesterday's attack on Army Public School in Peshawar succumbed to their wounds at the Lady Reading Hospital.
Hospital sources confirm that three wounded staff members have died today increasing the total death-toll of the attack to 144. — Reporting by Zahir Shah Sherazi
Turkey declares national mourning over Peshawar school carnage
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced a day of national mourning during a conference in Ankara, said a report published on Hurriyet Daily News.
Prayers offered for victims of Peshawar attack. -DawnNews screengrab
Pakistan, New Zealand to donate match fee to Peshawar attack victims
Shahid Afridi (R) and his New Zealand counterpart Kane Williamson — AFP/file
Pakistan and New Zealand cricket teams have decided to donate the match fee of today's One Day International being played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi to the heirs of victims of yesterday's attack on a school in Peshawar.
Funeral prayers in absentia in Islamabad, Quetta for Peshawar massacre victims
Prayers being held in Islamabad's International Islamic University. - DawnNews screengrab
Funeral prayers are being offered for the victims of the Peshawar massacre in Islamabad and Quetta.
In Islamabad, the prayers are being offered in the precincts of the International Islamic University.
In the funeral prayers in Quetta, a number of army personnel are participating.
Funeral prayers being offered in Quetta. - DawnNews screengrab
Multi-party conference in progress at Governor House, Peshawar
Leaders of all parliamentary parties as well as top military personnel are engaged in dialogue chaired by the prime minister, on the Peshwar school attack yesterday.
Earlier, the premier announced the lifting of the ban on executions for terrorists.
DG ISPR Asim Bajwa speaks to reporters
"Today is one of the saddest days of our history," says Bajwa.
"Unfortunately all of us are ashamed that we have these people with worse than animal instincts — who can come and kill innocent children on such a large scale."
"We are deeply grieved and angered as a nation, this is a national tragedy and we can never forget this sorrow.This is a mark which has left on all of us for the rest of our lives."
"When you go inside you will see for yourself. This is not a human act and is highly unIslamic. It is unexplainable... I will take you to the hall so you can come and see it for yourself."
How should we try terrorists, asks Nawaz
"The biggest issue right now is that these hardened terrorists that have been arrested... how should they be dealt with?" PM Nawaz asks.
"How should their trials be concluded, what punishments should they be given?"
"When these terrorists are not convicted by the court they go back and carry out more terrorism," he says. "Until and unless this issue is resolved, we cannot solve the terrorism problem."
"All political parties need to think about how we should deal with this, because this problem is not just limited to Fata," he says.
"There are some cases which haven't had hearings for 10-20 years...having such cases and not having a final hearing on such cases is also a problem for us."
Pakistan will not bow to terrorists’ ambition, stands in support of affected families: PCB
Pakistan, New Zealand teams will observe a two-minute silence before the start of the fourth one-day international in Dubai and wear black armbands in solidarity with the affected families of the Peshawar carnage, a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said on Wednesday.
“What happened in Peshawar is terrible and whole team is saddened over the loss of innocent lives,” the official said, adding that the PCB has made it clear to not let the terrorists succeed in their ambitions. “Pakistani players will go in the field to play today’s match as a symbol of national unity.”
Army chief will go to Afghanistan to discuss Peshawar: Nawaz
"The chief of army staff will go to Afghanistan and meet his counterpart there along with Ashraf Ghani and will discuss yesterday's incident with the Afghan leadership," Nawaz says.
"Our aim is to rid the entire region of terrorism."
Afghanistan, Pakistan should not use terrorists to use their land: Nawaz
"In our talks with Afghanistan, we had constructive dialogue and said that we have been provided with an opportunity to turn a new page in our relationship," Nawaz says.
"Ashraf Ghani agreed that both countries should not use their lands against each other and no attack should be launched against each other," he adds.
Multi-party conference opens with prayers for Peshawar
Prayers are offered at the beginning of the meeting for the victims, including army personnel, who lost their lives in yesterday’s attack.
“This country have made a lot of sacrifices for the war on terror, the economic loss also goes into hundred of dollars. Pakistan has deep wounds and sacrifices,” Sharif says.
Talks with terrorists not feasible: Nawaz
"The process of talks started and the outcome of that is in front of you," the PM says.
"I feel that keeping that option open is not feasible anymore and the government feels we need to continue with an operation against them."
"After the operation, we have seen some success, although there was some blowback. Before this the Wagah incidenttook place... and now the Peshawar incident. These are the two major blowbacks after the operation." started
PM says Zarb-e-Azb making gains
"If we continue with our commitement of ending terrorism, keep incidents like the Peshawar tragedy alive in our minds, then the jihad this country is fighting will continue. We should not forget how these young children were fired at and killed. There cannot be a bigger tragedy than this," he says.
Afghan Taliban condemn Peshawar school attack
Afghan Taliban condemns a raid on a school in Peshawar that left 141 dead in the country's bloodiest ever terror attack, saying killing innocent children was against Islam.
Read more here: Afghan Taliban condemn Peshawar school attack
MPC on Peshawar tragedy underway
The Multi-Party Conference (MPC), convened in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on a school in Peshawar which has left at least 141 people dead, has gone under way under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The meeting is being attended by military leaders and leader belonging to all parliamentary parties.
PM lifts moratorium on death penalty
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifts the moratorium placed on death penalty in the country which would come into effect in the next 48 hours.
The military leadership of the country also endorses the decision of the prime minister.
Schools observe silence, take out rallies in solidarity with Peshawar victims
A student, wearing a black ribbon and holding a rose, takes part in a prayer for victims of the Taliban attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, in Karachi, December 17, 2014. — Reuters
Students in Islamabad observed a minute of silence while school children in Karachi have staged a rally in front to the Karachi Press Club to express solidarity with the victims of yesterday's attack.
Similarly school students in Quetta, Lahore and Multan have also held special prayers for those who were killed and wounded in yesterday's dastardly attack carried out by Taliban militants.
Indian parliamentarians observe two-minute silence over Peshawar massacre
- DawnNews screengrab
The Indian parliament observes a two-minute silence over the massacre in Peshawar that claimed 141 lives on Tuesday.
Schoolchildren take part in a prayer for victims of the Taliban attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, in the northern Indian city of Mathura, December 17, 2014. — Reuters
Moreover, a similar show of solidarity was displayed by students in several of India's schools.
Peshawar massacre case registered against unknown persons
A case over the attack on school children in Peshawar has been lodged against unknown persons at the Machni Gate police station in the provincial capital city on behalf of Station House Officer Sher Ali Khan under Anti-Terrorism Act clauses.
The case has been registered under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempted murder) and 353 (criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Pakistan Penal Code. — Reporting by Zahir Shah Sherazi
Obama calls PM
US President Barack Obama telephones Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and conveys condolences and sympathies from the people of United States regarding yesterday’s massacre in Peshawar.
"We stand by the people of Pakistan in this hour of grief,” Obama says.
“The US will do anything to support Pakistan in its war against terrorists,” says the US President in his phone call. — Reported by Mateen Haider
PM, COAS offer funeral prayers for Peshawar victims
Funeral prayer in absentia for the martyrs of the Peshawar school attack were offered at the Corps Headquarters, Peshawar.
The prayer was attended by the country’s top civilian and military leadership.
The funeral prayer was attended by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar and Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Mehtab Abbasi. — Reporting by Zahir Shah Sherazi
Funeral prayers of 13 children offered
Funeral prayers of 13 children were offered and they were laid to rest in Peshawar. More children will be laid to rest today.
Govt schools, colleges closed in KP
Government schools, colleges and universities are closed in KP and Rawalpindi today.
Moreover, examinations, which were scheduled to be held today in universities in Karachi, have been postponed.
Political parties have suspended political activity for three days to mourn the killings. All major parties of the country have declared a three-day period of mourning.
Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has also announced a countrywide strike to mourn the killings.
Multi-party conference to begin by 11:30
The Multi-Party Conference (MPC) called in Peshawar by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is likely to begin by 11:30 am Wednesday.
All parties with representation in Parliament were invited to the conference that has been called with the objective of forging a renewed commitment to fight terrorists and extremists.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), which leads the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), will also be partaking and its chairman Imran Khan will be attending the conference.
Shutterdown strike in Quetta to mourn Peshawar massacre
A shutterdown strike is being observed in Quetta in condemnation and mourning of the attack in Peshawar.
Security has also been beefed up across Balochistan's provincial capital and entry points to the city are under strict surveillance. — Reporting by Khalil Ahmed
National flag lowered to half-mast as Pakistan plunges into mourning
National flag is seen hoisted at half mast on the building of Parliament House. — Online
Pakistan's national flag was lowered to half-mast on government buildings in condemnation and mourning over Tuesday's attack, DawnNews reported.
Security has also been beefed up in several parts of the country.
John Kerry calls PM, condemns attack
US Secretary of State John Kerry telephones Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and condemns the barbaric massacre carried out by militants in Peshawar a day earlier.
"We condemn the terror attack in Peshawar and US will stand by the people and the government of Pakistan," he tells the premier.
Kerry assures PM Nawaz that US will support Pakistan in its war against terror.
UN condemns attack as ‘act of horror’
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemns the Taliban attack on the army-run school in Peshawar.
“It is an act of horror and rank cowardice to attack defenceless children while they learn,” Ban said at the start of a UN Security Council meeting.
“The hearts of the world go out to the parents and families who have lost loved ones.”