PESHAWAR - Some heroes are made in unlikely ways, and their life serves as a beacon for all. One such hero of the Army Public School Peshawar terrorist attack was Mrs. Tariq. She was a teacher loved by all students. With three Masters degrees to her credit and studying for an M Phil and dream to become a PhD scholar, she was an optimistic person. Her family completely supported her in pursuing her plans and on the fateful day of 16/12 she was fasting as it was her practice to do so every Tuesday. She left home early to shoulder her teaching assignments of the day. As the day progressed and her classes ran on schedule she must have heard commotion and what sounded like firing, she came towards the place where this was happening and perhaps realizing what was transpiring she went to the auditorium / hall to ensure the kids there were safe.

According to the students who talked to The Nation, they said they had lain down on the floor of the hall to pretend being hit. A terrorist who had earlier left the hall returned, and seeing her asked her where the students were hiding; on her refusal to answer, he got infuriated; she offered him her cell phone and asked him to call whoever he wanted to and tell them the students were not being found; the terrorist threw her mobile away and wrestled with her to tie her to a chair. Then he doused her with phosphorus which caught fire. Her body was totally burnt to cinder and after the siege was over and the school cleared, an unidentified charred body was taken to the hospital morgue, where after DNA and other identifications it was ascertained after three days that the dead body left unidentified till then was that of Mrs. Tariq; and it was handed over to the family.

When we talked to the APS students and others, they were not only shocked beyond belief at the callous murderous manner in which the terrorists brazenly killed the teacher, but also how they behaved with sheer disregard for humanity and human sentiments.