SC directs govt to submit response on APS massacre report

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the government to submit its response on the report into the Army Public School (APS) massacre that killed 144 children six years ago.

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The directives were issued by a two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, hearing the case related to the APS massacre. The bench directed that the APS report should be submitted to the attorney general and asked him to take instructions from the government and inform the court.

During the hearing, parents of the martyred schoolchildren appeared before the apex court and asked the bench to provide them with justice.

“What happened to you was very wrong. This should have not happened at any cost,” remarked the chief justice after hearing the parents. Justice Gulzar added that he ’empathised’ with the parents.

The dejected parents, after listening to the top judge, told the court that they cannot live in Pakistan as their kids are not ‘safe’ in the country.

“Do not say such things. The court will give its decision on the facts that included in this report,” Justice Gulzar assured the parents. He also asked them what they wanted in ‘justice’.

“We should be provided a copy of the report,” the parents responded to the CJP.

The CJP informed the parents that it was a secret report and the attorney general was being given a copy of that. He added that the apex court will speak according to the Constitution and law.

“We formed the commission and we will take it to its logical end,” said the CJP. He also vowed that the court will not ‘let go’ those who were responsible for the shortcomings.

Last month, the commission set up to probe the APS attack submitted an over 3000-page report to the Supreme Court.

The commission was set up on the directives of the then chief justice Saqib Nisar on the request of the parents and families of the martyrs in 2018.

Justice Mohammad Ibrahim Khan of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) headed the commission.

According to the focal person of the APS Commission, Imranullah, the statements of 132 people were recorded by the commission that was formed four years after the attack. They also included over 30 officials of police, army, home department and others concerned.

Over 140 people, including 132 children were martyred in a terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014.

The incident is considered as one of the worst terrorist attacks in the country and in the region that shook the entire world.

The government had launched a National Action Plan across the country after the incident to go after the terrorist groups and improve the law and order.

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