One Year Later…

A year has passed, three hundred and sixty five long days…

I woke up that morning with a bright smile on my face, it was a cold December day in Lahore on December 16, 2014! The smile was in celebration of the ecstasy that spout out in the streets of my city, a day earlier, with waving flags and deliriously echoing slogans. Those weren’t Independence Day celebrations, it were the voice of this struggling nation demanding its civic and democratic right to fair polls and welfare. Lahore seemed like an artist’s stroke of ingenious, the sky was green with patriotism, white with democracy and peace and red… red with fidelity to the soil and allegiance to the ideology of justice! Lahore protest was a massive success and the front page of every newspapers was an imagery of this nation’s resolve to endeavour till the very end of time… I had an exam the next day, a semester final. I had to study and so I took a flight to my nest, opened up my books and began to study like a good student. The smile was still flickering. And then… the pleasantly cold winter day wasn’t pleasant any more. There was a message in the WhatsApp group from Lala Ji that there had been a terrorist siege laid on APS Peshawar… the smile went out like a candle that dies in thin air… APS Peshawar! Army Public School Peshawar! School! School it read, school I read, school they said, school I heard… A school… School? You could have said it wrongly, I could have heard it wrongly, I could be sleepy, I wasn’t sleepy, I woke up ninety minutes ago, how I could be sleepy… A school? Children! Children study in schools. Innocent children in their green and white uniforms had gone to school that day, like every other day. They never came back… It was home time but they never came home again… Our army squared them, the terrorists, it took them more than seven hours to vanquish those terrorists… they were extremists, they were beasts, brutes, barbarians, savages, how could they be human? They ruthlessly slaughtered humanity, they killed our children… Could those innocent lives tell what had been happening, what were they thinking, did they fear them, did they call out for help, did they resist… did they have enough time? Frightening bolts of bullets and thunderous jolts of those vicious voices, blood seeping into the soil of their motherland, did they feel it happening? They were children! Our armed forces have been a target, police academies and army bases have been assaulted, our worship places have been painted in the colour of their lunacy and then… a school…

December 16, 2014… 144 martyrs…


Main aisi qaum sey hun jis ke wo bachon sey darta hai

Bara dushman bana phirta hai jo bachon sey larta hai

(I hail from the nation whose children he fears

Poses with might, that enemy, who fights children)

  • Tribute by ISPR
  • (Translated by Zahra)


Yes, we are a nation faced with arduous challenges hampering our surge towards a better tomorrow. Yes, we are a nation at war with the evils of the society and the rogues of economy. Yes, we are a nation burdened with the destruction by the enemies of humanity. Yes, we have our weaknesses. But no, we are not weak! We are half a million lives for global peace and war on terror. We are resilience. We are valour. We are sacrifice. We are not the ones we are perceived to be. We are Edhi’s philanthropy. We are Malala’s peace. We are Nusrat’s melody. We are Rehman’s ingenious stroke. We are hospitality, peace, philanthropy, love, culture and generosity. We are a resilience that shall trump all atrocities! We are a courage that shall never be conquered! Hope shall never die! The song of our victory is the echo of our national anthem that resounds in our schools every morning. The testimony of our endeavours is every moment of learning that we gain every day. We will triumph for it shall serve justice to those hundred and forty four torch bearers of our enlightened tomorrow. We shall rise to glory in the face of all odds, we are Pakistan!


Hai waada yeh tum sey key ilm key deep jalayenge…

Tum dekhna, hum qalm sey talwar ko ziar kar jayenge!

(It’s a promise to you that the lamps of knowledge, shall we light…

You”ll watch, with a pen shall we surmount the sword!)

  • Tribute by Zahra




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