Pakistan: Peshawar Army Public School Reopens (2 of 2)

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Class is back in session at Peshawar's Army Public School, the target of a brutal attack by Taliban militants that killed 141 people in mid-December. Parents and their children were eager to tell media that despite the attacks, they are not afraid and that their children shouldn't have to live in fear in order to get an education. A ceremony was held as schools across Pakistan re-opened after an extended break in the wake of the attack.

Context:

In the morning on Dec 16, 2014 six Taliban fighters entered Peshawar’s Army Public School under orders to let the youngest children leave and to kill everyone else. The killing spree took the lives of 141 people, among them 132 children. This was the latest in a years-long string of attacks against Pakistani civilians and military and government institutions, starting with the alleged assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007. The Pakistani Taliban’s targeting of educational institutions, however, is not new, including an attack on a school bus in 2011, the attempt on the life of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai in 2012, and now the tragic killing of over a hundred students in the Peshawar school.

Script

  1. soundbite (Urdu)
    Student: 1:58 -- The terrorists have done their job, but we don’t want to make them successful in their mission. They want to stop us from going to school. No way. They cannot stop us from going school, and we have to prove and carry on the mission of our fellow students who were martyred.
  2. soundbite (Urdu)
    Student: 2: 43 to 3:06 -- I was sitting in the hall, and immediately the terrorists entered and started firing. They grazed my head, but when I touched there was no blood. Then, instantly, the blood came out from my head. I fell down and pretended that I was dead. After two hours, the army came and the rescued us. Now, I am a little nervous. I will always remember each and every moment I spent with my fellows who are no longer with us.
  3. soundbite (Urdu)
    Father of Student: 3: 25 to 4: 45 -- I used to drop my children off at school, and that day I did as well. At 11:00 in the morning, I came to know that the school in under attack by the militants. I rushed here, and then I called my friend and heard that my younger son was injured and in the hospital. Meanwhile, I came to know that my wife was martyred while rescuing children in the school. A bullet hit her head and she died. My children will go to the same school. The Pakistani army has supported us a lot.