Stories about APS attack

Dear Allah Mian, in 2050 I wish…

“Baba, what’s a beheading?” “Hmmm?” my father asked from behind the newspaper he was reading. I knew he wasn’t listening. “A beheading.” I repeated. Baba hastily put the paper down and looked at me. “Where did you hear that word?” he asked incredulously. “In the news. ‘Beheading of a girl in Afghanistan’. She was in my class, I mean, the same class as me. Class three.” “Mahnoor, I’ve told you to change the channel when such news appears, haven’t I?” Baba asked sternly. His face looked strange. He looked angry yet worried at the same time. “It wasn’t on TV Baba. It was on Facebook. I read the ...

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Does ‘masculinity’ deter men from seeking professional psychological help post APS?

The devastating impact of a traumatic life experiences such as a terrorist attack cannot be denied. The risk of developing psychological after-affects including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complicated grief in such instances is also well documented. Children and adults alike may experience flashbacks, nightmares, inability to concentrate, frequent crying and outbursts, difficulties with sleep and appetite, relationship problems, suicidal thoughts and attempts, drug abuse, and other high risk behaviours. In a society that has raised it boys and young men to be brave and heroic and socialises to believe that any expression of sadness, hurt and fear would ...

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Bara dushman bana phirtha hai jo bacchon se darta hai

December 16, 2014, is a day that will remain forever etched in the memory of every Pakistani who lived through it. The loss of 147 innocent lives to extremism shook not just the nation but the world with its inhumanity. Pakistan military’s media wing, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), has aimed to play its part through two hauntingly beautiful and heart-warming musical tributes that have the power to reduce the listener to tears. The first video was released by ISPR around a month after the horrific attacks and was broadcasted on various television channels. It depicts various students wearing the Army Public School (APS) uniform. It is a ...

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365 days, 13 hours, and 45 minutes ago my brother, Arham, left us

Three hundred and sixty five days, 13 hours, and 45 minutes have passed since that incident. Sometimes, the whole film of that day rolls back on my mind’s tape and I see myself wandering around the Combined Military Hospital (CMH). How can I forget those 25 minutes? It was then that my dad walked inside the hospital to enquire after my brother. When he came out, I asked him, “Abu! Kuch pata chala?” (Dad, did you find out anything?) I can’t forget the moment in which my father mustered the courage to say out loud, “He is dead.” I couldn’t believe my ears; even though the words were so simple, ...

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I still wonder what my brother Shayan last prayed for on the day of the APS attack

Shahab, my sister, tells me that I look like him. Whenever our father sees my face, he sees Shayan. I avoid him a little at home, because I know how much it pains him to see Shayan’s smile on my face, his gait in my walk and his sparkle in my eyes. On December 16, 2014, the lives of my family members changed forever. We were a happy family of four brothers and two sisters. And now, we are a family with an empty chair at the dining table, an empty bed with an extra pillow and a dry toothbrush that ...

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Why are we criticising ISPR?

“Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less”, George RR Martin could not have penned it better. The narrative making the rounds is that there is a civil-military imbalance, and that the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) must immediately reconsider its course of action and dispel any notion of a “soft coup”. It is peculiar; critics first shower praise upon the ISPR for its performance, then highlight the credibility a single tweet by Director General (DG) ISPR commands, and later conclude by recommending that ISPR cease and desist. Why? From the British Army to the Indian Army, a simple ...

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An APS mother’s grief: How do you forget someone who was once a part of you?

Losing a loved one is very painful, but then this pain does vary depending on the loss itself. It is believed that the highest intensity of grief is experienced by a mother who loses her child. A mother’s love is the reflection of God on this earth; she raises her child in her womb for nine months and these nine months are more significant than her entire life put together. She forms a bond with the child that is unbreakable, no matter how far the child strays from her, just the thought that the child is happy and content makes her happy ...

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Pakistan, a nation filled with tolerance and forgiveness

Now and again, we are reminded that it’s impossible to politely engage everyone on this planet and no tolerant society should ever try doing that. It is important to begin by recognising that religious intolerance has a number of dimensions within it. Sources of religious intolerance, for instance, can be the actions or policies of governments and/or the actions or beliefs of individuals or groups in the society. Targets of religious intolerance can include members of specific religions or religion in general, people who choose to change or disregard their religion, and even the people randomly victimised by religion-related terror or armed ...

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Let this Eid be our wake up call

As I walk down memory lane, Pondering what once was and is now, It breaks my heart to admit the change, How we’re cold towards matters, We once cared about.   While many lost their lives to the ruthless heat, We were debating on subjects which don’t concern us, Whether to ‘celebrate’ a bill passed in another nation, Did we condemn the Safoora attack enough?   As a nation we have lost our innocence, Who are we? We don’t know. As Eid approaches us, In all honesty, did we do justice, This Ramazan, I don’t think so.   This Eid can be our saviour, Let’s not ‘take’ and only give, Let’s open our eyes, And protect our realm.   Let’s end our indifference, And sympathise, It’s about time we improve ourselves, And not criticise.   Let’s awake ...

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