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PESHAWAR: Political parties, students and traders on Wednesday expressed solidarity with the families of the Army Public School Peshawar attack’s victims.

Political leaders asked the federal and provincial governments to fulfil their commitments by eradicating terrorism and restoring peace.

In a joint statement here, Qaumi Watan Party chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa senior minister Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao said the nation would always remember the sacrifices of the APS schoolchildren killed by the militants and that their sacrifices would not go to waste.

Aftab Sherpao said the massacre was a brutal act of terrorism as the innocent children were targeted by terrorists.

He said the sacrifices rendered by schoolchildren were unforgettable.

“The APS tragedy had led the nation to unity for one cause and that was to eliminate terrorism from the country,” he said.

The provincial PPP leaders declared the victims of APS attack heroes of the entire nation and asked the government to ensure proper medical and psychological treatment of the injured students.

PPP provincial president Khan Zada Khan, general secretary Engineer Mohammad Humayun Khan, information secretary Liaquat Shabab expressed solidarity with aggrieved families and demanded admission of the injured students to professional colleges to fulfil their desires.

They said political parties should stop politicising the tragedy and join hands against terrorism so that peace could be restored in the country.

The ANP reiterated its demand for judicial inquiry into the APS massacre.

ANP central general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain told a function at the party headquarters, Baacha Khan Markaz, that all 20 points of National Action Plan on security should be implemented in letter and spirit.

“We have paid a heavy price against terrorism. These sacrifices have united civil and military leadership and civil society over NAP,” he said in a statement issued here.

Mian Iftikhar said the government should act against all banned militant outfits.

He said many big banned outfits were operating in Punjab and were collecting funds for acts of terrorism without let or hindrance.

The ANP leader said there were still unanswered questions about the militant Haqqani Network and therefore, the government should clear position on it.

He said some points of the NAP were acted upon, while the rest awaited implementation.

Mian Iftikhar said dialogue could be successful if both Afghanistan and Pakistan stopped meddling into each other’s affairs and that the federal government should change its policy for the purpose.

He said if the government didn’t take serious steps under the NAP, then the country would be vulnerable to the Daesh militant outfit.

Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Nasira Laghmani said she was hopeful that the sacrifices of APS students, teachers and other staff members would not go to waste and that peace would return to the country very soon.

She said the APS massacre had united the nation against terrorism and that was why security forces launched decisive steps to eliminate terrorists from the country.

Nasira asked the people to join hands in the larger interests and work for peace.

Also in the day, the Imamia Students Organisation demanded proper security for all educational institutions to counter threats of terrorist attacks.

Published in Dawn, December 17th, 2015