The most disturbing fact in the 16th December attack on Army Public School Peshawar is the one most often noted: The terrible loss of 141 innocent lives including the unspeakable crime of murder against 132 children. It was a crime that must never be allowed to happen again. In order for that to happen, we must take note of some other disturbing facts that are getting less attention.
First is that though it is true that the attack was against women and children at a school and not soldiers, the attack was clearly intended to strike at the heart of our soldiers. It was not just any school that was attacked, it was Army Public School. The children were the children of our soldiers. The women, their wives. This was not an attack against a remote school in tribal areas. Being Army Public School, the school was across from Army housing near a military base. This should have been one of the most secure areas of the country, yet it was here that jihadi militants were able to slaughter the innocent children without being detected. Worst, they seemed to know exactly who they were looking for and where to find them.
The insurgents had inside knowledge that wives of certain army officials were teachers in the school.
Wife of Subedar Abbass was torched to death, while wives of Brigadier Tariq and Major Jamshed were also killed.
A son of Subedar Mazhar, who was student, was also killed when he was identified by terrorists.
This points to another disturbing fact that should chill our blood.
The military intelligence agencies have now arrested prayer leaders of Behari and Aabshar colony, which is adjacent to the Army Public School, along with 27 other suspected people from the nearby streets.
One of the prayer leaders is said to be Khaliq jan from Darra Adam Khel, some 23 kilometers South of Peshawar. All the arrested people have been taken away to an unknown location for interrogation..
It is believed that terrorists have been provided refuge by locals in streets adjacent to the school.
If we are going to prevent such tragedies or worse from ever taking place again, we must face the very disturbing reality that the roots of this jihadi menace run deep in our society. Until we dig them out completely, the poisonous weeds will continue to spread.