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Rewriting the Fate of Pakistan's Children: Then & Now

Updated: Jan 13, 2020

It's Tuesday morning. School is in full session. Children are flocking the classrooms with a burning desire to learn. Teachers are exploiting students' imaginations in hope of expanding their horizons. Just as students are beginning to settle their minds into the mode of exploration designed by their educators, an army of seven men well-equipped with arms of destruction enter the most peaceful sanctuary on Earth. Marking their presence with deep impressions on the building and leaving a trail of empty cartridges and streams of innocent blood behind them, the deadliest creatures of mankind storm through its corridors, across the auditorium and into classrooms altering the fate of humanity by writing their futures with the lead released from their barrels.

No, this is not a plot for some crime scene in a movie. No, this is not a psychologically impaired imagination going wild. This is the unfortunate reality of the world's fourth deadliest school massacre which took place on the 16th of December 2014 at the Army Public School (APS) located in Peshawar, Pakistan. A country often stereotyped of harboring terrorists became the victim of terrorism when seven gunmen decided to opt the role as Angels of Death and took the lives of 132 students, 10 staff members and the emblem of bravery, Principal of APS Mrs. Tahira Qazi.

In a country where education holds the highest pedestal of achievement, where teachers are regarded as gifts of God nurturing the nation's children for coming generations, and schools where the height of security and safety are expected, the exemplary behavior of utmost control, patience, faith and hope was experienced through the face of a strong woman who stood alone in the face of death whilst embracing it with courage in front of her students in the most humanistic way possible against the oppressors.

Bearing in mind the sacrifices of life, liberty and innocence, let the Government of Pakistan crack down on its stalemate processes in respect to child labor by initiating policies which send 20 million children back-to-school. Let the remembrance of the martyrs become the reason for change instilled in Pakistan today, as was promised time and time again.

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