Four militants involved in the tragic Army Public School attack last December, were hanged at the Kohat Central Jail. The execution comes as the country prepares to observe the first anniversary of the attack on Dec 16. This was the first sentence approved by the army chief following the Supreme Court’s August 2015 judgment, giving legal cover to the establishment of military courts.

The perpetrators of the brutal and merciless killings do not deserve any mercy and the death sentence awarded to the four terrorists, in fact, is the will of the entire nation. However, looking at what needed to be done to help the victims of the attack get even a semblance of justice, was this really enough?

The attack, Pakistan’s deadliest, shocked and outraged the country, already scarred by nearly a decade of unrest. It prompted a crackdown on extremism, with the establishment of military courts and the resumption of capital punishment after a six-year moratorium, and the deterioration in the standing of the civilian justice system. The government seems to think that their job is done. But what about psychological rehabilitation for the survivors? The parents of the victims? What about getting to the root causes of how the government and military let this actually happen in the first place, when they have always held their security and intelligence to be top-notch? We moved to make the military more powerful, and as always, overlooked the social costs of the cycle of violence and bad policy the state has been encouraging for the last two decades.

Parents of the students of Army Public School (APS) Peshawar have expressed annoyance over the government apathy towards acceptance of their demands, and warned of extreme steps if their demands are not met before December 16. The progress on the National Action Plan also does not inspire too much confidence or comfort. The attacks also did not end after December 16. Even as we celebrate the military and its might, from the IDP’s of Zarb-e-Azb, to the parents of 132 dead children, we are a nation in pain.