The country’s top judge on Tuesday assured the parents of the children martyred in the 2014 Army Public School (APS) massacre that the people responsible for the horrific attack in Peshawar would not be spared.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed’s remarks came as the Supreme Court resumed the hearing of the APS carnage suo motu case.
A two-member bench, comprising CJ Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, ordered that a copy of the judicial inquiry report on the APS tragedy be provided to Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Javed Khan.
It also directed the AGP to seek the government’s instructions on further steps on the matter.
The court observed that the case would be taken forward in light of the attorney general’s reply.
One of the parents remarked that the children are not safe in Pakistan. Justice Ahsan asked the parent to trust the court’s procedures as the miscreants would be dealt with according to the law.
The parents also sought a copy of the report but their request was denied by the court. Justice Ahsan said it was a secret report and it could not be handed over to them yet.
Justice Gulzar told the parents that the bench had not examined the report so far.
He added that the court would take action after receiving the government’s response. “We will take action according to the law and the Constitution,” he added.
The apex court also ordered the AGP to appear in person during the next hearing and adjourned the proceedings for four weeks.
Last month, the commission formed to probe into the 2014 APS tragedy in which over 140 teachers and pupils were martyred by terrorists submitted its report to the SC.
The commission’s 3,000-page report contains the statements of 132 people, including 101 witnesses, 31 policemen, Pakistan Army personnel and other officers, apart from that of the parents.
Former chief justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had formed the commission in 2018 on the request of the martyred children’s parents to investigate the APS tragedy.
The former chief justice had appointed Peshawar High Court Justice Muhammad Ibrahim as the head of the commission.
Other members of the commission included Peshawar inspector general of police, Corps Commander Peshawar, home secretary, chief secretary and other high-ranking officials.
Former chief justice Nisar had directed the formation of the commission and instructed to submit the report within six months.
In the deadliest attack in the country’s history, armed militants affiliated with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan stormed the APS Peshawar and martyred 132 innocent students and 17 staff members on December 16, 2014.
The militants, wearing paramilitary uniforms, scaled the school’s rear wall on Warsak Road using ladders and cut the barbed wire along the top of the wall. Once inside the school, they opened fire in all directions.
The attack on APS saw a shift in public opinion on the country’s struggle against militancy.
In the aftermath of the attack, the army intensified Operation Zarb-e-Azb in tribal areas where militants had previously operated with impunity, and the government announced to launch the sweeping National Action Plan to tackle militancy.