PESHAWAR: Parents of the Army Public School Peshawar students injured in the Dec 2014 Taliban attack have warned they will agitate if the government doesn’t ensure free treatment of their children and payment of monthly stipend for their education by Dec 16, the first anniversary of the terrorist activity.

Professor Akbar Khan, president of the Ghazi Forum, a grouping of such parents, told reporters at the Peshawar Press Club on Saturday that the government was unnecessarily delaying free treatment of the injured attack survivors, both students and teachers.

Accompanied by the injured students and their teachers and parents, he said the injured APS students and teachers had been in distress due to the government’s indifference to their misery.

Complain govt denying free treatment, stipend for the education of students

“The government should issue special cards to the injured for their trouble-free treatment at local hospitals,” he said.

Professor Akbar said the attack survivors also needed psychological treatment to return to normal life.

He said the injured APS students should be given admission to professional colleges on priority basis as they’d heavily suffered both physically and mentally and therefore, they’re unable to compete with other students.

“We have time and again asked the government to formally declare our children as victims of terrorism so that they could go abroad for treatment and education without trouble, but unfortunately to no avail,” he said.

The Ghazi Forum president said the government should declare the injured as ‘special persons’ and give them preferential treatment by allocating special seats in professional colleges and universities and creating special quota in government jobs.

He said parents could no more afford the treatment of their children and therefore, they’re looking up to the government for help.

Professor Akbar said many attack survivors needed the immediate plastic surgery and transplantation but didn’t have money for it.

He said the government should pay monthly stipend to the injured APS students on regular basis until they completed education and were employed.

The Ghazi Forum president said the APS teaching and non-teaching staff members killed in the 2014 attack should be declared permanent employees of the college posthumously with entitlement to all post-retirement benefits and incentives.

He demanded investigation into the alleged embezzlement of funds announced by donors and government for the APS attack victims and said those found guilty of the fraud should be dealt with strictly.

Professor Akbar warned if the federal and provincial governments didn’t meet demands by Dec 16, the Ghazi Forum along with the injured students and their parents and teachers would agitate.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2015

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