Stories about Peshawar

Remembering simpler times with Ma’am Tahira Qazi and Sir Saeed

The Army Public School originally had a single branch on Mall Road Peshawar, near the PTV station. During the mid-1990s, two more branches opened up – one near the old Mall Road branch and the second where December 16th’s tragedy took place, on Warsak Road. We used to call it the Army Public College, not school, because it was from the sixth grade onwards; so it was for the ‘big boys’, and it had become a degree-awarding college as well. I started going to the ‘college’ in 1997. Sir Saeed was one of the first teachers I had. I was in the sixth grade; 6-B to ...

Read Full Post

Moving on from trauma, moving on from Peshawar

The Taliban’s brutal attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014 claimed the lives of over 140 people including 132 children. While hundreds of survivors of this mass shooting need physical rehabilitation resulting from bullet wounds and other physical injuries, the psychological impact of this traumatic event may have a long lasting effect on school children, both in Peshawar and across the nation. It is imperative that the trauma victims must get immediate psychiatric help, and secondary support be provided to children in other parts of the country who, although geographically distant, may still be troubled by this ...

Read Full Post

What Pakistan went through during the Peshawar attack

Students of Psychology will be familiar with the Kübler-Ross model. The five stages of loss and grief. ‘Normal grief’. Grief of losing a loved one to a terminal illness. Grief that one has prepared themselves for. Grief that concludes with acceptance. However, there is no theory for the event in which all the first four stages of grief collide. Nothing to explain the kind of grief that does not end with ‘acceptance’. Yesterday, December 16, 2014, demonstrated to us a new trough in humanity. Just when we thought we had hit rock-bottom in a society where human life has nil ...

Read Full Post

Lub pay aati hai dua bann kay tamanna meri

On December 16, 2014 The Express Tribune blogs desk received many submissions from grief stricken people from all over Pakistan. These people wanted to show their solidarity with the families of the victims. They wanted to mourn the deaths of the students and teachers from the Army Public School, who were brutally massacred by the TTP in Peshawar. Due to shortage of space, we were unable to accommodate many, but we understood that this was a traumatic event in which every Pakistani’s protest should be recorded. So, this post was created as a window for people to come together and ...

Read Full Post

The death penalty is justified today

Two recent terrorist attacks have proven to be a watershed in our history.  First, the unfortunate siege at the Karachi airport which resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and thereby, creating a proverbial consensus among many Pakistanis in support of a military operation. Since then, there have been debates on what a successful military operation entails. The commentators have regularly suggested that a military solution must accompany certain policy changes such as terminating the distinction between good Taliban and bad Taliban, reversal in our Afghan policy and developing a counter-terrorism strategy.  However, it failed to mark any seismic shift in our policies. The second is Tuesday’s massacre ...

Read Full Post

Have a heart, PCB, postpone today’s match

My fellow Pakistanis, there is a cricket match scheduled for today. Yes, you read that right. At 4pm, Pakistan time, our nation will take on New Zealand in the fourth cricket ODI in Abu Dhabi. Needless to say, that such an event is taking place a day after one of the blackest days in Pakistan’s history, just doesn’t feel right. If anything, sport is a celebration – a celebration of athleticism where human beings compete in an arena of onlookers to determine who has more skill. We watch them simply because we can’t do what they can do. They can hit harder, bowl faster, and ...

Read Full Post

What if heaven was unprepared for the little souls of Peshawar?

I don’t know what happens to souls when people die, it is believed that they go to a place called heaven, paradise. But what if heaven is unprepared, what if heaven says, “Oh beautiful souls of Peshawar, your time is not yet, you need to live some more, you are young, you are innocent, you are angels in human form, you embody goodness, you are the ambassadors of heaven, your fieldwork on man’s earth is not done yet. God sent you down for a reason, because you are perfect, you have the capacity to do wonders, you are so beautiful, ...

Read Full Post

180 million hearts broken… again

Jallianwala. Dhaka. Quetta. North Waziristan. Peshawar. Places change but stories remain the same. That doesn’t make the heartbreak any more bearable. The unanswerable ‘why’ still looms over our heads. Why this? Why now? Why us? Today’s massacre in Peshawar reverberates throughout the country. I cannot even fathom what the parents of the children are going through but I write to tell them they are not alone, it is the least I can do. It is the least I can do to at least try to reach a level of catharsis which will make me feel capable of ever feeling again, which will make me ...

Read Full Post

Humanity dies as Peshawar bleeds

This morning, as I opened my social media newsfeed, I was left completely mortified. At around 11.45 am, news about five to six militants who had carried out an attack at the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar was all over my newsfeed. Alarm bells started going off in my head. I have friends whose children go to that school. Immediately, I thought of ringing them up. But then I stopped. A thousand thoughts went through my head in those few seconds – what if they didn’t know about the attack just yet? Would I be causing panic? What if I clog up ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan’s fear of a local security check-post

Last month, Sajid, an engineering student from the University of Engineering and Technology, was shot in the head by a Frontier Constabulary (FC) constable. Different sources obviously claim different versions of the story. The security officials, however, have stated that Sajid refused to stop at the security check post after being flagged down repeatedly. The real story will only be revealed when an impartial investigation into the incident is conducted. Putting the validity of the versions aside, what concerns me today is the important ‘issue’, a daily ritual might I add, of passing through security check posts in the country. ...

Read Full Post