South Asia

Weeks after Taliban attack, Peshawar school reopens

Students look out from a vehicle on their way to school near the Army Public School, which was targeted by Taliban militants, in Peshawar on Monday.

Students look out from a vehicle on their way to school near the Army Public School, which was targeted by Taliban militants, in Peshawar on Monday.   | Photo Credit: B.K. Bangash



Pakistani children and their parents returned on Monday to the school where Taliban gunmen killed 150 of their classmates and teachers, their green school blazers, Superman lunchboxes and hands clutched tightly to their parents a symbol of perseverance despite the horrors they had endured.



Pakistan has been reeling from the December 16 terrorist attack in Peshawar one of the worst the country has experienced.



For parents like Abid Ali Shah, getting ready for school on Monday morning was horrifically painful. Mr. Shah’s wife was a teacher at the school and was killed in the violence. Both of his sons attended the school. The youngest was shot in the head but survived after the militants thought he was dead. Monday morning they were late as they struggled with preparations previously done by Shah’s wife.



“A hollowness in my life is getting greater. I am missing my wife,” Mr. Shah said.

Andleeb Aftab, a teacher at the Army Public School, lost her son, Huzaifa, in the attack. She arrived on Monday wearing a black dress and black headscarf and walked briskly toward the school, where she had last seen her son alive.



“I have come here because the other kids are also my kids,” she said. “I will complete the dreams of my son, the dreams I had about my son, by teaching other students. I have chosen to get back to school instead of sitting at home and keep mourning.”





The chief of Pakistan’s Army, General Raheel Sharif, was on hand inside the school to greet students, a military spokesman tweeted.





A ceremony was expected to be held at the school, but classes were not expected to be held until later this week.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 4:25:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/weeks-after-taliban-attack-peshawar-school-reopens/article6780203.ece

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