Pakistan marks first anniversary of Peshawar massacre
Pakistan marked the first anniversary of the deadly terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar. Hundreds gathered for a somber memorial ceremony at the Army Public School, which was attended by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, army chief Raheel Sharif and opposition leader Imran Khan. Parents of the young victims and survivors of the attack were given medals at the ceremony.
TTP is an alliance of militant networks, formed in 2007 to unify opposition against the Pakistani military and eliminate Islamabad's influence in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan.
10 militants armed with automatic weapons, a rocket launcher, suicide vests, and grenades attacked Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, killing 26 people and wounding 18 others. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was revenge for the army's operations in North Waziristan in 2013. Two aircrafts of Pakistan International Airlines and one Air Indus aircraft were damaged in the attack.
The Pakistan Army began full-scale ground operations and air-strikes against terrorists of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), who based their operations out of North Waziristan. A statement from Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations said the Pakistani military had been "tasked to eliminate these terrorists regardless of hue and color, along with their sanctuaries". The Pakistani military had previously launched very limited offensives in North Waziristan.
Seven gunmen affiliated with the TTP conducted a terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan. All the militants were foreign nationals and worked with the TTP in Pakistan's tribal North Waziristan district. The attack left 141 people dead, including 132 schoolchildren. The TTP said the attacks were revenge for army's operations in North Waziristan which killed several innocent women and children.
PM Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack, calling it a national tragedy, and announced a three-day mourning period during which the National Flag would fly at half mast. PM Modi issued his condolences to PM Sharif over the attacks. US President Obama said the attacks showed Taliban's "depravity". Even the Al-Qaeda spokesperson condemned the "cowardly" attack on innocents as being against the principles of Jihad.
On Dec 17, PM Sharif lifted Pakistan's 6-year moratorium on the death penalty and vowed to hang those responsible for the Peshawar school attack. He announced the establishment of military courts as part of the 17-point plan of action to fast-track terror cases. The army intensified operations in North Waziristan and as of 2015 has killed over 300 terrorists.
Pakistan Peoples Party came to the power in March 2008 and issued an indefinite moratorium on executions in memory of Benazir Bhutto who was a staunch critic of the death penalty.
Pakistan hanged four men who were linked to the December 2014 terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar. A military statement claimed the convicts were linked to the little-known Toheedwal Jihad group of the TTP. They were the first men to be tried and found guilty by the special military courts, for their alleged role in the school massacre.