On the 16th of December 2021, Rwadari Tehreek-Pakistan held a Memorial Camp in front of Lahore Press Club to remember all those who lost their lives at the Army Public School in Peshawar on this day in 2014 – and victims of all other terrorist attacks. The participants, belonging to different religions, displayed anti-extremism and anti-terrorism banners and placards. They chanted slogans to demand justice for APS victims.
The participants of the Memorial Camp criticised the government over its policy of amnesty to the terrorists from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the killers of thousands of Pakistanis. Protesters unanimously demanded that those responsible for the APS massacre and other terrorist attacks should be apprehended and brought to justice. They further demanded to Declare the 16th of December a “National Day Against Extremism and Terrorism” in solidarity with all the victims of terrorism and also as a sign of commitment against religious extremism, intolerance and terrorism. Moreover, they suggested that the Year 2022 should be declared as a Year for Rwadari (religious tolerance and respect of religious diversity).
Chairman Rwadari Tehreek Samson Salamat in his message said, “The news of negotiations, provision of amnesty and release of the banned TTP killers is extremely disturbing and heartbreaking. It is against the principles of rule of law and justice. Rwadari Tehreek Pakistan strongly rejects the policy of the current government in dealing with the terrorist and extremist outfits and we demand stern action against the terrorists and militant outfits wherever they exist without any recognition of good or bad because these terrorists do not deserve any softness as they are killers of thousands of innocent citizens and should be brought before justice indiscriminately.”
Remembering the APS massacre on 16th December 2014, Mr. Samson Salamat said that “our heart still bleeds when we recall the brutal attack at APS Peshawar but sadly the victims are still waiting for justice after 7 years. Therefore, the government functionaries and relevant institutions should focus on providing justice and bringing killers before justice rather than providing them amnesty.”
Mr. Samson Salamat further said that “In order to make sure that the society is free of intolerance, violent extremism and terrorism, the government must ensure the effective implementation of the National Action Plan which includes the ban on hate speech in letter and spirit and all those found in spreading hate speech should be apprehended indiscriminately and there should be a speedy trial of all those who are apprehended on the charges of terrorism.”
He also called for revisiting the syllabus of the educational institutions to remove material that spreads intolerance or hate speech, and for reform of the blasphemy laws to prevent their misuse.
Participants of the Protest Camp, particularly the leadership and the members of the Rwadari Tehreek Pakistan, pledged to continue their struggle against religious extremism, religious intolerance and terrorism to make Pakistan a peaceful place for all citizens without any discrimination.