Saniha E Peshawar Essay Definition

Today, Pakistan is a nation united in mourning after facing one of the most brutal terrorist attacks in its recent history. On Tuesday, a group of Taliban gunmen stormed a high school in Peshawar, initiating a killing spree that claimed at least 141 lives. Nearly all of the victims were students of varying ages — in addition to 132 students, nine teachers and staff members were among the victims. The attackers took no hostages and instead sought to kill indiscriminately, according to most eyewitness reports. Following a nearly nine-hour siege, Pakistani police officials were able to subdue all seven attackers, but tragedy had already unfurled.

Unsurprisingly, the attacks drew almost instant national and global condemnation. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif traveled to Peshawar almost immediately, and called for an emergency meeting between all political parties in the city for Wednesday. Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Raheel Sharif, the man in charge of the military campaign against Islamic militants in the country’s tribal areas, also traveled to Peshawar. Tellingly, the two men did not travel together. Peshawar authorities declared three days of mourning in the wake of the attack. Across Pakistan, hundreds gathered for vigils from Karachi to Quetta to Islamabad. The Pakistani foreign ministry issued a statement reiterating the government’s commitment to fighting the Taliban, noting that “these terrorists are enemies of Pakistan, enemies of Islam and enemies of humanity.”

The attack temporarily put a halt to Pakistan’s domestic political turbulence. Imran Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party, called his supporters to refrain from attending a planned nationwide protest following the Peshawar attack. Khan’s planned protest was aimed at pressuring the Pakistani government to investigate allegations that Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party won the 2013 general elections by illegitimate means.

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The Taliban’s campaign against both educators and students received some prominence over a year ago, when Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, was attacked by gunmen for daring to go to school. Yousafzai, who received her Nobel Peace Prize just last week, noted that she was “heartbroken by this senseless and coldblooded act of terror.” “Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this,” Yousafzai remarked in a statement. “I, along with millions of others around the world, mourn these children, my brothers and sisters — but we will never be defeated.”

Global reactions have been similarly emotional. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on all of India’s schools to observe two minutes of silence on Wednesday “as a mark of solidarity.” British Prime Minister David Cameron called the attack “deeply shocking,” noting that it was “horrifying that children are being killed simply for going to school.” “A house of learning turned into a house of unspeakable horror,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The Chinese foreign ministry issued a statement: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the incident, and most strongly condemn on the terrorist attack.”

The Taliban and other related Islamic militant groups have long targeted government-run schools in Pakistan. Hundreds of smaller scale attacks have taken place in schools in the country’s volatile Kybher Pakhtunkhwa region. Additionally, the Taliban and other groups have targeted school buses. For the Taliban, these schools represent un-Islamic government authority. In the specific case of the Peshawar attack, another important factor was at play. The school in question lies on the edge of a military residential area and served Pakistani military families. One ostensible objective the attackers may have had was to shake Pakistani servicemen’s faith in the government’s ability to protect their children.

Although Pakistan tragically faces smaller scale terrorist attacks by the Taliban on a somewhat regular basis, this Peshawar offensive will strike deep at the nation’s core and intensify national unity in the ongoing struggle against the Taliban. The Pakistani military launched an offensive this summer known as Operation Zarb-e-Azb, with the backing of the United States, to root out and eliminate militants seeking refuge in the country’s mountainous North Waziristan region. The attack in Peshawar will challenge perceptions that the Pakistani military’s campaign is breaking the Taliban’s resolve in any way. While the attack may have risen out of desperation, it signals that the Taliban remain an enduring and persistent threat to Pakistani security.

What remains an outstanding problem for Pakistan is indeed the government’s inability to guarantee acceptable levels of civilian security. The Peshawar attack saw a death toll rivaling that of a 2007 Karachi suicide bombing that killed 150. This should be a stark reminder that while the Pakistani military attempts to address the country’s terrorism problem at the source with initiatives such as Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the country’s police and security forces must take serious steps to curb future attacks of this nature. While this will prove challenging for a nation of 180 million, allowing atrocities of this nature to repeat themselves can only lead to national disintegration and sorrow about Pakistan’s long-term prospects as a country.


AGE 13


Ahmed Ali Shah

Age: 13
Class: 8

Son of Khalid Mehmood (late) and Jameela Kosar
Siblings: Mohammad Ahmed (12)

Ahmed was wise beyond his years, his mother says, possibly because he lost his father when he was 4-years-old. He had assumed a tremendous responsibility at a young age, as a result of which, unlike other children his age, he would not ask his mother to buy him anything.

Bright and studious, Ahmed had a beautiful singing voice. He was often called upon to recite Naats. He would detail his future plans to his mother; he wanted to become an auto engineer. He would sketch designs and tell his mother he would build real cars one day.

His mother says he was an old soul, and because of his love for poetry, his mother would often lovingly refer to him as Shair, Ashfaq Ahmed. After his father, he took care of me, his mother says.

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Azaan Toraylay

Age: 13
Class: 9

Son of Major (retd) Sohailur Rahman and Zil-i-Huma Gul Sohail
* Siblings: Hayan Nangyalay (19), Hassaan Baryalay (17), Aman Gul Sohail (14) and Wadan Numyalay (8)*

Azaan Toraylay was true to his name (means brave in Pashto). Azaan wished to join the Pakistan Army like his father. Once, he even performed guard duty when his father’s vehicle gave way in Shikarpur on the Grand Trunk road. His father says Azaan kept watch through the night so he and his friends could sleep.

Azaan was also fond of keeping pets. His father recalls how when Azaan passed, his pet dog was saddened to the extent that he got sick, and for about 20 days, refused to eat any food. Young Azaan was also fond of playing cricket. He would urge his father to arrange informal cricket tournaments with his friends.

Proud of Azaan, his family regards him as a brave boy. But the tears in their eyes betray how with him gone, their life has changed so much.

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Fahid Hussain

Age: 13
Class: 8

Son of Hussain and Seema Nawab

For Fahid’s parents, he was something of a gift. He was their only child and they cherished every moment they spent with him.

His parents shifted from their village to Peshawar so Fahid could get a good education. He wanted to be an Air Force pilot.

He loved sports, especially basketball and cricket. He was part of the school team and also played in the neighbourhood. He prayed to God to give him another sibling to practice with. His parents are devastated by the death of their son.

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Gul Sher

Age: 13
Class: 8

Son of Shehnaz and Muhammad Nasir Gul
Siblings: Emaan (12), Warda Nasir (10), Khushbakht Nasir (7) and Waresha Nasir (4)

Gul Sher was a good student. He was House Captain at his school and hoped to be a doctor some day. He wanted to be a famous heart surgeon and open hospital that would treat patients free of charge.

He loved playing football and would often take his football shoes to school. According to his mother, he was particular about being tidy and dressed like a gentleman. He wouldn’t use a bathroom if it was not clean.

He liked parrots but did not have pets as he didn’t want to keep them in cages. He had a good memory and was always the one to remind his friends and relatives about the birthdays of others.

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Hamid Ali Khan

Age: 13
Class: 8

Son of Sher Ali Khan and Farman Nissah
Siblings: Sidra Ali Khan (16), Jawad Ali Khan (11) and Sana Ali Khan (4)

Hamid was a charming young boy. He was soft-spoken and had the kindest heart. He was an excellent student and was popular at school. He loved his little sister Sana very much. He wanted to be a doctor and open a hospital for the poor.

He was fond of animals. His brother Jawad says Hamid once adopted an injured puppy that he saw out on the streets. He took the puppy to the vet, despite the clinic being far away from their home, and nursed him back to health.

The family says it is painful for them to live without Hamid, who was the light of their lives.

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Hammad Malik

Age: 13.5
Class: 8

Son of Erum and Tahir Anees Malik
Sibling: Kashaf Anees Malik (11)

Hammad loved horses and was an excellent horse rider.

His uncle had bought several horses in his Punjab village so Hammad could practice riding. He took part in a competition in Lahore and won a trophy.

His other hobby was collecting coins and antiques. He would decorate them all over tables and cupboards at the house.

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Muhammad Azhar Naseer

Age: 13
Class: 10

Son of Muhammad Naseer and Mussarat Bibi
Siblings: Saba Naseer (13), Nouman Naseer (12) and Kawal Naseer (11)

Azhar dreamt of becoming a doctor and providing free treatment to the poor. Biology was his favourite class at school and he always topped with 90pc marks.

Topping his last exam on Dec 12, Azhar's family had planned a function on Dec 16 ─ the day of the attack.

Azhar was a kindhearted and and softspoken boy. Once during a trip to the family village, he saw a puppy trapped in bushes during a rainstorm in freezing cold weather. The place was slippery and dangerous, his father says, but he brought the puppy home and fed and cared for it. The next day, he returned it to its mother.

His father says whenever he meets Azhar’s friends, he misses his son very much.

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Rizwan Sareer

Age: 13
Class: 8

Son of Nargis Begum and Lt. Col Sareer Khan
Siblings: Nauman Sareer (19), Salman Sareer (18)

Hailing from Charsadda, Rizwan was as big cricket fan. His brother, with whom he shared a room, said that they often played cricket in the bedroom. After his passing, he says he can never play again.

Rizwan’s father shares while Rizwan was playing in a public garden he found Rs2,000 dropped by someone. He was only in the second grade at the time but he promptly went to the reception and handed the money over to the guard, telling him to give it to the owner if he came looking.

His parents say they feel their son’s loss deeply, but are proud of the life that he has lived.

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Wahab ud Din

Age: 13
Class: 8

Son of Rakshanda and Kabir ud Din
Siblings: Sana (23) and Shahab ud Din (21)

For Wahab’s father, the loss of his youngest son was too much too bear. Two months after the horrific attack, his father’s health took a turn for the worse. He passed away.

His mother says her son was a studious child who worked late into the night. She also says he was very sensitive to his parents needs. He was close to his father, and would often discuss his passion for science and research with him. He wanted to become a scientist.

He loved cats. He took care of many strays, giving them milk and preparing special meals for them.

The family is shattered by this tragedy. They have lost the sole bread earner. Wahab’s mother prays for better days.

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Wasif Ali Khattak

Age: 13
Class: 8

Son of Captain Ali Khan Khattak and Shahnoon
Siblings: Asim (24), Laiba (22), Saqib (20) and Asif Siraj (19)

Wasif was the youngest of five siblings and for this reason, all his demands and wishes were met by his parents and siblings.

He loved animals. He once saw a puppy drowning in a canal and jumped in to rescue it.

He aspired to become a doctor when he grew up. He wanted to work in his village of Gundi Mirah Khan Khel Khattak. He would often tell his brother of his dream to establish a free treatment clinic in the village after he secured an MBBS degree.

His parents say they miss him dearly and wish he was with them every day.

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Yasirullah

Age: 13
Class: 8

Son of Hav. Nasirullah and Razia Bibi
Siblings: Tahirullah (12), Mansha Nasir (10), Insha Nasir (7) and Aliza Nasir (3)

A punctual and studious child, Yasirullah had originally aspired to be a doctor. But after being selected to attend Cadet College he decided he wanted to become an army soldier.

Hailing from Chitral, young Yasirullah enjoyed playing sports and won many medals and awards in cricket, badminton and football.

Yasirullah’s best friend was his cousin Syed Zulqarnain Shah. Both boys were killed in the auditorium. His father says every time he sees his son’s remaining friends, he misses Yasirullah.

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AGE 14


Abdullah Ghani Awan

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Lubna Tanveer and Tanveer Ahmed Awan
Siblings: Haroon Ghani Awan (19), Mohammad Tayyab Ghani Awan (11) and Dil Awan (10)

Abdullah truly loved animals. He kept parrots, hens, rabbits and fish at home. When the hens laid eggs, he eagerly waited to see them hatch so he could play with the chicks. A dozen chicks were born just recently, but Abdullah was not there to see them.

His father says he was close to Abdullah, and that he would seek his son’s opinion each time he dressed up to go out. He says he would only wear waistcoats when Abdullah approved the colour.

He recalls a time in the UAE, when he dared Abdullah to swim in a hotel pool that had strict rules regarding swimwear. He said Abdullah had a word with the lifeguard, and jumped right in fully clothed. He loved to take up a good challenge.

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Adil Shahzad

Age: 14
Class: 9

Son of Muhammad Younas and Azra Bibi
Siblings: Afan Shahzad (12), Aliza Shahzad (9) and Ahmed Ali (6)

A clever and responsible child, Adil Shahzad was the eldest of four children and regarded as a role model by his siblings and cousins.

Adil wanted to be a professor and aspired to get a PhD degree. A bright student, he enjoyed English, Urdu and Islamiat. He was also a good athlete, but had fractured both legs in 2010, making running difficult.

Adil was fond of the outdoors and picnics and tours with friends whenever he visited his village. Among Adil’s favourite foods were the milk and curd of his village, and the apples, bananas and oranges which grew there.

Adil and his siblings watched Doraemon together, his favourite cartoon. His family members are proud of him and miss him every day.

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Ailian Fozan

Age: 14
Class: 9

Son of Muhammad Fozan Shafi and Ayesha Fozan
Siblings: Famia Fozan (16) and Fiza Fozan (9)

Ailian spent every spare moment of his time riding his bicycle. I had decided what bicycle model I was going to buy him after his exams, his father said.

Active and sociable, Ailian was a good student too. His parents proudly display his letters of appreciation and certificates. He had planned to join the Pakistan Air Force.

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Ammar Iqbal

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Nauman Iqbal

Ammar Iqbal's family could not be contacted for this obituary.

His teachers describe Ammar as an intelligent and obedient student.

Miss Jameela says he had a jovial disposition and teased both students and members of staff.

He was a hard worker and outstanding in his studies. He wanted to become a surgeon.

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Arham Khan

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Sanaullah Khan Khattak and Noreen Sana
Siblings: Shaheer Khan (24), Zawat Khan (23) and Yashfeen Khan (19)

The youngest of four siblings, Arham was a brilliant student who had earned a double promotion from grade 6 to grade 8.

He took a keen interest in computers and was just learning to chat through Skype and Facebook.

His favourite food was Peshawar’s popular Chappali Kababs, which he would often ask his father to get for him on his way home from work.

Even at his young age, Arham would play the role of mediator if his siblings quarreled, and was the one who would help them patch up after an argument.

His family, especially his father, misses their young boy very much. Mr Khattak often goes to his son’s room to clean it just as Arham liked it.

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Atif ur Rehman

Age: 14
Class: 9

Son of Wazir Rehman and Bibi Zahra

Atif ur Rehman, the youngest of eight siblings, aspired to be a doctor and serve the residents of his village. His elder brother facilitated Atif’s move from their village to Peshawar for his studies.

A technology enthusiast, he enjoyed watching informative documentaries about gadgets and playing computer games. The responsible and soft-spoken teenager also liked playing cricket and football and was an avid Justin Bieber fan.

His elder brother says he feels Atif’s absence every day. He says after the family lost Atif, they were going through his schoolbooks and found he had written: “I love you, Dad. If anything happens, I would not let you down before anyone.”

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Awais Ahmed

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Sub Ikramullah and Hameeda Ahmed
Siblings: Ishfaq Ahmed (26), Nazia Ahmed (25), Shahab Ahmed (23), Waqas Ahmed (18), Zeeshan Ahmed (17) and Nimra Ahmed (8)

A respectful and empathetic child, Awais wanted to study medicine and become a doctor. He often lamented the condition of hospitals, particularly those in villages, and hoped to do his bit in improving and reforming systems.

Awais was the youngest among the sons, and his father, who has lost two sons to the massacre, remembers him as his most intelligent child. He was very good in maths and helped his siblings in academics.

Young Awais was also fond of keeping pets. At one point, he had two pigeons that he looked after and when one of them died, Awais couldn’t eat anything out of grief.

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Awais Nasir

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Jamal Abdul Nasir and Rozeena Nasir
Siblings: Hira Nasir (20), Sana Nasir (17), Haris (12) and Abdul Nasir (11)

Awais was of a happy disposition. Although almost always in a jocular mood, he remained respectful of elders. He was also a responsible brother of four siblings, and would never hit back when squabbles with his brothers would get a little out of hand.

Shaken by the death of his son, Jamal Abdul Nasir talks about how Awais loved dressing well. It was only three days before his son’s passing that Jamal had brought him three new suits from his trip to China. Those suits could never be worn by his son.

Awais was very close to his mother. His epitaph says “da moor bachay” (Pashto for son of the mother). He went to see the plot of land the family had bought t construct a home on, the day before his passing. He had asked his mother when the construction would begin, to which she said "after Ramazan". At the time Awais said he may not be alive to see it.

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Baqir Ali

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Rashid Ali Bangash and Shehla Rashid
Siblings: Alia Rashid (22), Humaira Rashid (22), Babar Ali Khan (19) and Uzma Rashid (17)

Be it a Spelling Bee or excellence in Arts, Baqir was an extraordinary student. He was so fond of reading, that he would finish his work and read books from his elder sister’s school curriculum. He had a superb memory and wanted to put it to good use by becoming a doctor.

Unlike other children his age, Baqir was a serious child. His father says he did not crack jokes and had a mature personality. His siblings describe him as a child who was always curious about knowing more.

He was dear to his parents and siblings as he was the youngest in the family. “We are missing your voice, your chuckle, your presence and all the fun we used to have,” his sisters say.

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Fahad Hussain

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Akhtar and Sameena Hussain
Siblings: Ahmed Hussain (17), Uzair Hussain (16) and Asim Hussain (9)

Fahad was killed the day of his birthday. The night before the attack, he had invited his friends and cousins to celebrate his birthday at home.

His friend Rehman describes his friend's bravery on the day of the attack. When militants entered the classroom and opened fire, Fahad opened the door and asked all his friends to run out. He stood at the door and made sure his classmates evacuated the room. It was then that he was hit on the head and leg.

He called out to the others to tell his brother Ahmed, also a student at the school, to come help him. But it was too late.

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Fazal Raheem

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Muhammad Usman and Mrs Usman
Siblings: Mohammad Faisal (22), Mohammad Faheem (21), Momna (19) and Nemra (12)

Fazal took admission in APS for the sole purpose of joining the Pakistan Army as an officer.

He enjoyed cricket and often played against his brothers on the roof of his house as their father forbid them from playing in the streets. He also liked horse-riding and often went to parks for the very purpose. Fazal was also a skilled guitar player.

He was closest to his mother. All the children in the family were given a weekly allowance of Rs50 but Fazal, according to his father, finished his pocket money in a single day and would come asking for more. When his father refused him once, he rushed to his mother and said in jest, “Why couldn’t you marry someone else?”

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Muhammad Furqan Haider

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Farhad Ali Bangash and Raheela Khatoon
Siblings: Nargis Batool (13) Fatma Batool (10) and Mohammad Zulqarnain Haider (8)

Furqan resided with his family in UAE but a year before his death, he took admission at APS to fulfill his ambition of joining the Pakistan Army. During that time he lived with his uncle in Peshawar, whose eyes fill with tears as he remembers his nephew. Even if somebody spoke to him harshly, he would never lose his patience or smile, his uncle says. “He was a good boy.”

Furqan was fond of babies and often took care of his younger siblings and cousins. He also loved baby chicks and would often bring them home.

He enjoyed watching and playing cricket. If there was a power breakdown, he would run to his neighbour’s, who had a generator, to continue watching the match.

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Hamayun Iqbal

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Mohammad Iqbal
Sibling: Sadia Iqbal (19), Palwasha Iqbal (17), Nafeesa Iqbal (15),Usman Iqbal (13), Shabir Iqbal (11) and Ali Iqbal (4)

Hamayun was a naughty but loved student. At least once a week, his father would be called to the school due to this trouble-making boy.

He says the minute he would reach the gate, the gate keeper, watchman, gardener, teacher and head teacher would start off, full of complaints about him. But because he was a good student, no one ever became angry with him. He was known in school as “Italian boy”.

He was close to his father and had a special bond with his grandfather Haji Saddar Azam. Humayun’s father says his grandfather had not been able to the bear the loss of his beloved grandson and grows weaker each day.

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Hamid Saif

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Nasreen Saif and Saifullah Khan
Siblings: Naeem Saif (26), Khalid Saif (24), Sajid Saif (21) and Aamir Saif (18)

The son of a soldier, Hamid was a star student. He was given awards and prizes for best English vocabulary and essay writing as well as best picture memory and earth day poster. He also won a Best Young Journalist certificate.

On the day of the attack, he had prepared a presentation and asked his uncle to pray it is the best in the class.

His teachers said he had leadership qualities as he was parade commander at school and was also selected to be proctor.

He used to joke with his father and lovingly call him by his first name, a gesture his father says he will never forget.

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Hamza Kamran

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Muhammad Kamran Shafi and Najma Kamran
Siblings: Momina Kamran (18) and Hira Kamran (16)

Hamza was a studious child. He had held several positions in his class and had also won many awards for sports and other activities.

The only brother of two sisters and close to his mother, Hamza would eat whatever meals were cooked at home but did particularly enjoy burgers and karhai gosht.

His parents recall how the one month the family spent together during Hajj last year created fond memories for them now that Hamza is no more. During Hajj, Hamza looked after two old ladies, helped them with their wheelchairs and made sure they were comfortable.

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Haris Nawaz

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Muhammad Nawaz
Sibling: Ahmad Nawaz (15)

Haris and his brother Ahmad were both targeted the day of the attack. While Ahmad was grievously injured and later treated at a UK hospital, Haris lost his life.

He was an intelligent child and bagged top positions from nursery till class eight. His room is full of certificates and medals.

His parents describe their boy as an obedient and respectful child. He wanted to grow up and be a doctor. He dreamt of opening a hospital that treated the poor free of charge.

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Hasnain Sharif

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Sharif Gul

Hasnain was an only child. When asked to talk about his son, his father says he is unable to express his sorrow. He had big dreams for his son. He hoped that Hasnain would complete his studies and work hard to make a mark in society.

Hasnain loved to visit his village, where he played for hours with the baby farm animals. He was quite particular about his clothes and would often ask his father to buy him new outfits.

His mother was unable to speak. She misses her son very much.

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Khushnood Zeb

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Rana Aurangzeb and Ruqia Bibil
Siblings: Rana Sana Zeb (20), Hafiz Rana Muhammad Aftab Zeb (16) and Rana Muhammad Mehtab Zeb (16)

According to his father, Rana was a brilliant student and had excellent oratory, reading and writing skills.

Rana wanted to become an army engineer and serve the nation. He idolized cricketer Shahid Afridi and would try to emulate his style. Among politicians, he liked Imran Khan and would often do a parody of him.

The family finds it hard to accept that their son is dead. They say it is still hard to eat or laugh the way they did when he was alive.

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Muhammad Abdullah Zafar

Age: 14
Class: 9

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Muhammad Arshad Zafar
Siblings: Muhammad Obaid (12) and Ali Musa (4)

Although a child, Abdullah could not really enjoy the carefree days of youth; his father died when he was just 12. He did not play pranks or act naughty like most other children his age, his mother says as she describes how he looked after the family. When everyone slept at night, Abdullah would wake up and make sure all the doors of the house were locked.

He was close to his mother and his love reflects in the many drawings he made to thank her.

Aspiring to join the army, Abdullah was also a position holder and would always remain among the top five students in his class. Not only was he bright, he was also creative in his thinking and had made a mathematical formula for his studies.

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Muhammad Ghasaan Khan

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Amin Khan and Bibi Ayesha
Siblings: Saima Amin (18), Palwasha Amin (18), Sawera Amin (16) and Mohammad Sharim Khan (12)

Known as the young scientist of the school, Ghasaan was a bright student and a position holder in his class.

He was creative and his father, who is a PHD scholar, says that Ghasaan’s writing was impeccable and barely needed any correction. He was fond of writing poetry in both English and Urdu languages.

Ghasaan’s teachers also recognised how bright he was and called him the teachers’ motivator.

Ghasaan’s father tells that on the day of exam result, the school guards and gatekeepers would wait for him as he would always distribute a special meal.

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Muhammad Haris Khan

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Ghulam Din and Shahida Nasreen
Siblings: Faisal (15), Usman (10), Faizan (Late, 3)

Haris’ death crushed his family. For his parents, it was the second time they had lost a child, as their son Faizan had passed away at age three.

His mother describes Haris as an obedient child who did everything for her the moment she asked. She says he was a responsible boy, who took care of her after the death of her first son. She adds that they were more best friends than mother and child.

She says that while she kisses her children goodbye before they leave for school, that fateful day she did not kiss Haris as he was running late – something she deeply regrets.

His family struggles to cope with the loss of a second precious member.

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Muhammad Salman

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Muhammad Ikram and Hameeda Bibi
Siblings: Abdur Rehman (7), Ayesha (9 ) and Madeeha (2)

The eldest among his siblings, Muhammad Salman aspired to become a doctor and his father was prepared to send him abroad to study medicine in case he failed to secure a position within Pakistan.

He enjoyed playing cricket and was good at the game. However, riding bikes was his favourite past-time. His father remembers how Salman would look for any opportunity to go out on the bike.

A jovial child, Salman cracked jokes all the time and would do parodies of famous actors and celebrities. He was very close to his grandfather and since Salman’s death, his grandfather’s health has been deteriorating.

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Muhammad Tayyab Fawad

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Muhammad Fawad
Siblings: Dursham Fawad (12) and Manahel Fawad (10)

A position holder in his class, Tayyab was not only bright when it came to studies but was also a very good volley ball player. He had won several awards.

His father tells how Tayyab was short-tempered and would do things in a hurry but at the same time made sure he didn’t get angry in front of his father.

Tayyab lost his mother in 2009 and at a very young age after which his grandmother looked after him. He learned many things by himself, such as riding a bike and using the computer. His family misses him.

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Nangyal Tariq

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Tariq Jan and Shagufta Tariq
Siblings: Mehwish Tariq age (18), Sohail Tariq (13) and Sawail Tariq (7)

For the most part, Nangyal Tariq was a somber boy but he would on occasion crack jokes to make his family members laugh. He showed a keen interest in studies and wanted to become an Army Captain.

He liked experimenting with his hair, and would often come up new hairstyles, his mother says.

Nangyal was affectionately called Sher Khan – he loved being addressed by his pet name. His family says that if he was ever unresponsive, the trick was to call him ‘Sher Khan’ to get his attention.

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Muhammad Shaheer Khan

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Shagufta and Muhammad Tahir Khan
Siblings: Mumna Khan (20), Mohammad Munib Khan (16) and Tooba (12)

Shaheer’s mother finds it hard to come to terms with the senseless killing of her son. She still keeps the tie he wore to school that morning, which now has visible tears from the bullets.

Shaheer was a naughty student. He loved computer games and had been begging his parents to buy him a PlayStation 4, which costs Rs48,000. When his parents told him he could only buy it if he did well on his exams, mischievous Shaheer prepared a hand written report card in order to claim his gift.

The family say they are trying to be brave but they miss their boy terribly.

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Sahibzada Omer Khan

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Fazal Mohammad Khan and Zaib-un-Nisa
Siblings: Sahibzada Afrasiab Khan (11), Sahibzadi Mishal Khan (6), Sahibzadi Aleena (4) and Sahibazada Jasem (9 months)

The eldest of five siblings, Omer played the role of the responsible older brother. His parents say he was an extraordinary son. He knew what they needed even before the said a word.

If his mother was busy with household chores, he would cook for his father and siblings. He was called the ‘leader of the house’. On the weekend, he would wake up early morning and wash his father’s cars without being asked.

Omer’s mother wakes up every night, searching for her son. The family prays for strength and say he is in a better place.

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Saif Ullah Durrani

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Tehseen Ullah Durrani and Falak Naz
Siblings: Sana (19), Hafsa (17) and Ammara (11)

Saif Ullah Durrani was known as ‘Potato’ to his classmates because of his love for the spud. He was very fond of food.

He and his brother often competed with each other to offer regular prayers at the mosque. Keeping the mosque clean and rendering other services to it was important to him.

His sister says he was naughty, which other children liked. Every time she asked him to bring something for her, he would ask for a commission, refusing to do so otherwise.

His father says his son would not eat lunch or dinner unless the gardeners, gatekeepers and drivers had theirs. He would personally go to them and ask them if they had eaten, and if any one hadn’t, he would request his mother to prepare a meal for them.

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Shahood Alam

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Zahoor
Sibling: Aresha Alam (13)

Shahood was an extraordinary student. With nearly 50 certificates and awards to his credit, it is no surprise that the young boy was a prominent figure at school as the proctor and ‘peacekeeper’.

His teachers remember him as the ‘shining star’ of the school. He hoped to take his CSS exams and work in Pakistan’s civil services.

Shahood was very responsible, and had opened a bank account and got a passport made for himself. His parents, who keep his cheque books and passport with them, say he had saved thousands of rupees in his bank account.

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Sher Nawaz

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Zuman Bibi and Masha Din
Siblings: Shah Mohammad (16) and Saad Mohammad (8)

Sher Nawaz was a considerate and kind boy. He believed in living a modest existence and never asked his parents for more money than was required.

According to his father, whenever Sher Nawaz went to visit his relatives, they would be full of praise for his good manners.

Sher Nawaz was also very helpful around the house. When he came home from school, he would help his mother in the kitchen, wash the dishes and clothes and knead the dough for cooking roti.

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Syed Mujahid Hussain Shah

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Zaib Hussain Shah and Sadia Bibi (late)
Siblings: Shahid Hussain Shah (15), Majid Hussain Shah (11), Maryum (9), Maria (7) and Fawad (1)

When his mother died, Zahid took it upon himself to take care of his siblings. He never wanted them to feel her absence, so he showered them with love. His youngest sister Maria was his favourite.

His father says Zahid was an ordinary student; he worked tremendously hard. His best subject was English. He was fond of skating. His father bought him a pair of skates much to his delight, so he would often be seen skating outside the house.

His family says losing him has made them very bitter, but they pray for endurance and for better days.

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Ali Abbas

Age: 14
Class: 9

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Muhammad Akram Shah
Siblings: Sundas Shah (13) and Ali Anis (9)

A native of the Nowshera district, Ali is described by his parents as a polite and considerate child who did not make demands of them as other children sometimes do. Whether it was clothes or other gifts, he was content with whatever he was given.

If there was one thing he was particular about, it was his appearance – especially his hair and skin. He had a special oil and cream for his hair and skin.

He was very close to his mother and grandmother, with whom he shared a special bond. Sometimes in the winter, he would tease his grandmother by switching the fan on and removing her blanket. She would lovingly make sweet parathas for her grandson.

His absence in their lives is felt every day. His sister and mother weep for Ali and say they will never forget him.

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Sohail Aslam

Age: 14
Class: 9

Son of Hav. Muhammad Aslam and Sakeem Aslam
Siblings: Muhammad Zohaib Aslam (9) and Muhammad Zeeshan Aslam (5)

Eldest among the siblings, Sohail was a responsible and caring child. Being the eldest, he was closer to his parents and would help them out in looking after the younger siblings and helping his mother in the kitchen. Sohail was very close to his brother Zohaib.

Sohail was a bright student and wanted to study in LUMS after high school. He began attending APS in November 2014, soon after his father’s transfer to Peshawar.

Sohail’s father remembers how his son made tea for the parents on the morning of Dec 16. He remembers Sohail to be really happy at the time.

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Syed Husnain Shah

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Syed Fazal Hussain and Saima Fazal Hussain
Sibling: Syed Talib Hasnain (11 months)

Husnain had big dreams. He had a passion for science and engineering and wanted to invent something that would change the world.

According to his mother, Husnain was the ‘perfect son’ who would always help her around the house.

“He always joked around with me and always made me laugh,” Husnain’s mother says.

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Tanveer Hussain

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Naib Subidar (retd) Atta Mohammad and Jatti Bibi
Siblings: Mehwish Nasim (17), Khawar Shahzad (16) and Mohammad Faraz (12)

Aspiring to become a doctor and serve the people of his native village, Tanveer was a bright and responsible child. Although young, he was heavily relied upon by his siblings, both older and younger, for help with their homework.

Tanveer was a good debater and would often partake in debating competitions. His father recalls how Tanveer had won many medals and how he himself wrote and worked on concepts for his debates.

His father remembers how Tanveer would also help his mother out in house chores and was a source of support to all members of the family.

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Uzair Ahmad

Age: 14
Class: 9

Son of Zahoor Ahmed and Farahnaz
Siblings: Tahira (13) and Fatma (2)

Uzair was a big wrestling fan. He loved watching matches and also collected figures and photos of famous wrestlers in an album.

He was an obedient son and was respectful of his elders. He was very close to his mother. His father recalls how, every day when he would return from work, Uzair would wait at the gate and jump onto his shoulders to greet him. They would often sit in the garden and talk about their day.

Uzair's family says their lives seem to have come to a standstill without him.

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Mohammad Uzair Ali

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Gulab Perveen and Ahmad Ali
Siblings: Malaika Ali (11) and Mohammad Jalal Ibrahim (7.5)

Mohammad Uzair Ali was a brave boy. His friends say on the day of the attack he fell atop them, shielding them from harm. This is why, according to the medical officer, Uzair was hit with 13 bullets.

That day, he had been told off by his history teacher. In a light-hearted way, Uzair said to her, “Miss, today you did not wear make-up, that’s why you are angry. Please, wear make-up! When you do, you are in a good mood.”

He was very dear to his grandfather, Haji Ali Khan and both were like best friends. His mother says her son was a generous boy, and once gave Rs120 to a poor woman who was begging on the street for blood pressure medication.

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Umair Arshad

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Arshad Ali and Salma Arshad
Siblings: Ayesha Arshad (17), Sumayya Arshad (14), Muhammad Uzair Arshad (9) and Mohammad Zubair Arshad (5)

The son of a soldier, Umair aspired to become an airforce pilot. He used to collect pictures and information on fighter jets used by Pakistan and other countries. For his age, he had a good understanding of what it takes to be a soldier in a country marred by terror.

Umair was also very fond of race cars and heavy bikes and loved collecting pictures of these vehicles. His father remembers how he had bought a bike for Umair and wanted to surprise him but it was not to be. It was the day of the APS attack. Umair’s bike stands by the porch of his house, still unused.

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Abrar Hussain

Age: 15
Class: 9

Son of Rajab Ali Rajab Ali and Roqqaya Bibi
Siblings: Muntazer Hussain (29), Arif Hussain (25), Jamshed Ali (23) and Sajda Hussain (18)

With his nose buried in textbooks, Abrar Hussain was fiercely competitive academically.

A hostel student at APS, he was top of his class for nine years straight. Whenever he returned to his village, he'd be found studying instead of mingling with friends. Every year, the school would call his parents in to show them his achievements.

According to his father, Abrar was always worried about coming second. If he wasn't studying, he'd be found at home, curled up in a quiet corner reading.

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Ahmad Elahi

Age: 15
Class: 9

Son of Mehfooz Elahi and Sumeer Sadiqi
Siblings: Faseeha Elahi (17) and Mohammad Elahi (13)

Ahmad was a position holder; he aspired to be a surgeon. His mother says he was very religious and offered all his prayers at the mosque. In fact, he would try to reach the mosque early so that he could recite the Azan.

He liked to play cricket with his friends but more than anything else, he loved his parrots. Just a few days before the attack he had bought a brand new cage for them.

Each night, before going to sleep, Ahmad had made it a habit to crawl into his mother’s bed and make sure he hadn’t said or done anything to hurt her. "If I did, I apologise for it."

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Ahmad Mujtaba

Age: 15
Class: 8

Son of M. Anwar Khan and Nayab Anwar
Siblings: Ahmad Murtaza (9), Iqra Anwar (18) and Javeria Anwar (16)

Mujtaba was a shy, quiet boy who hoped to join the Pakistan Army as a doctor one day. His best friends were his siblings.

The only time he did shed his shy demeanor was when he played cricket. He loved the sport with a passion.

But if there was anything Mujtaba loved more than cricket, it was brand new clothes; he loved the way they looked on him. For this reason, his father got four suits tailor-made for him. They hang in his wardrobe, unworn.

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Asad Aziz

Age: 15

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Dost Mohammad
Siblings: Tariq (31), Liaqat (29), Tahir (26), Rashid (24), Shahid (21) and Asia Bibi (19)

Asad was the ‘brightest child’ in the family and also the most athletic. Four days before the 15-year-old passed away in the attack, he had won a medal in table tennis.

In the summer of 2013, Asad and his family went out to spend the day by the river.

The young boy had just come out of the water a long swim when his cousin Zeeshan was swept up by a current and was going to drown. Without losing his calm, Asad jumped into the water and managed to pull his cousin out alive. He was a savior.

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Asfand Khan

Age: 15
Class: 10

Son of Ajoon Khan and Shahana Bibi
Siblings: Mohammad Wadan Khan (5) and Mahrosha Khan (12)

A quiet but confident teenager, Asfand Khan aspired to become a lawyer one day. He was also very passionate about driving and training at the gym.

Unlike most boys his age, Asfand liked being solitary and would spend most of his free time in his room. His respectful demeanor earned him love from elders and admiration of those younger to him.

In his father’s absence, Asfand took on the role of the man of the family. He would shoulder his father’s responsibilities and take care of his mother and siblings. “After my son’s shahadat, I will have to start my life from scratch,” his father says.

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Bahram Ahmad Khan

Age: 15
Class: 10

Son of Lt-Col Gulzar Ahmad Khan and Nosheen Gulzar
Siblings: Hassan Ahmad Khan (9) and Zaryab Ahmad Khan (19)

Bahram wanted to become a doctor and spend his life serving the underprivileged. Empathetic by nature, he was always moved when a disaster struck somewhere.

Bahram secured 91% in his last exam. This distinction was aside from the various medals he had won in academics and extra-curricular activities.

His father recalls a story Bahram’s friends shared from the APS attack. During the attack, a friend of Bahram fell to the floor and broke his glasses due to which he could barely see. Bahram came back to get him but on their way out was stopped by a terrorist. His friends recall that Bahram pushed the terrorist and received two bullets in the chest which resulted in his death.

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Basit Ali Sardar

Age: 15
Class: 8

Son of Sardar Ali and Sadaf Sardar

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