PESHAWAR: Recalling their martyred classmates, the survivor students of Army Public School and College Peshawar vow to avenge the inhuman, barbaric attacks on their innocent classmates and say, for this purpose, they have even a deadlier set of weapons: pens and books.

“December 16 is a black day in the history of Pakistan and it is not easy to forget the ruthless killing of innocent students. We are still in trauma to recall the scenes of indiscriminate firing and suicide blasts inside our class rooms and main auditorium hall of the school,” Batoor Khattak a student of class 10th Army Public school and college, said while talking to The Nation in main library of Army Public School and College.

Aitizaz, another student of grade 10th, told this scribe that his class fellows heavily missed the martyred souls. “They are alive in our hearts and we will keep up their mission for the cause of the country,” he said. “It is a great honour for us that they we are learning in the school of martyred,” Aitizaz said in a resolute tone. “I will join Pakistan army soon after completion of my education.”

Salman Saeed, a student of class 10th and survivor of Army Public School attack, said that with great care and struggles of teachers, the students have coped with the traumatic experience. “The memories are unforgettable. We lost four friends of our section in this tragic incident and we are missing them. Teacher are trying their level best to encourage survivors and bring their lives back on track but it is too hard to forget those who were our class fellows since our early school days.”

A student Mudassir, who hails from Kurram Agency, while sharing his views said that he was in class seven at that time when the attacker entered the school premises and started indiscriminate firing on our school mates. “I left the class when I heard the bullet shots and ran toward the gate to escape the firing. Few of my friends got martyred while few of them were injured.

“We will not forget the sacrifices rendered by our classmates and we will revenge with pen and book to eradicate terrorism and ignorance,” he pledged. When asked about his future education plans, he said that he wished to join Pakistan Army.

Abdul Hadi, student of grade 8th, is also determined to continue his study in Army Public school and college saying that he along with his other fellows was in Auditorium Hall when terrorists entered and opened indiscriminate fire. He said that he was behind in the back row and that is why he succeeded to get out from the hall while later army personnel arrived and escorted the students to safe locations.

He hoped that peace will be restored due to the sacrifices rendered by the brave student of Army Public school. “We are here to keep up our study in Army Public school, which is home of hundred of martyrs, and will continue our struggle through education to ensure better future for our next generation,” he vowed.

Gulfam Haider, also a resident of Kurram Agency, who lost his brother in Army Public School attack, said that he was here to fulfill the mission of his brother. He added that the when he lost his brother Imran Ali, he was studying in another school. “But after his martyrdom I took admission in this school to prove that we are not fearful of terrorists attack and these attacks could not deter our resolve.”

Muhammad Uzair, another student, said that he joined Army Public School and College after the tragic incident. “This college has earned great name not only in the country but also in all over the world,” he said. He paid tributes to Pakistan Army chief for further facilitating the students and improving the security situation of the building. When asked about future plane, he also said that he wish to become part of Pakistan Army.

Sahiram Maqbool, son of Maqbool Hussain student of Intermediate part one, said that they feel proud that he is the student of Army Public School. He said that after the APS attack student cope with shocking situation and now students are focusing on their study. He said that memories of friends are etched forever in their minds but as compare to past, students were feeling comfortable in the school. He wished to become Engineer in Army engineering corps.

Mohammad Hasnain, a resident of Peshawar and student of intermediate, said that after December 16 attack, they were in trauma but “now we feel better environment then earlier and we are quite satisfied with security situation of the college.”

“We hope that peace will be completely be restored in this country after the sacrifices rendered by their fellows for the cause of the country,” he said. Mohammad Hasnain wished to become Pilot and serve Pakistan Army.

Samiullah, a resident of Shabqadar and student of Intermediate, also paid tributes to the martyrs of Army Public school and said that students are eager to follow the footsteps of their classmates. He wished to become an Engineer.

Mian Maazullah, another student of Intermediate, said that though the students were satisfied with study atmosphere in the school but “it is hard for me to forget friends with whom I spent many years.”

Syed Mohammad Osama, who survived in the attack miraculously, said that when terrorist started indiscriminate firing, he laid down on the floor, behind the chairs while terrorist were targeting all students who were standing inside the hall. He said that the attacker thought that all of the students were dead then went to another section of the school. “I got a chance to get out safely from the auditorium” Osama recalled. “I cannot forget that horrible scene when the attackers were changing magazines of the riffles, while targeting each row of the students,” he said.

Ihtesham-ul-Hassan, who hails from Punjab and whose father is serving in Army, told this scribe that he got admission later in the college after Army Public School attack “because I wanted to join the mission of martyrs who sacrificed themselves for the cause of the nation.”

“Terrorists will not deviate us from this holy mission for the cause of the country to restore peace and they will continue to render sacrifices for our mothers land till complete normalcy,” Hassan remarked.

Shoaib Mukhtar, who sustained bullet wound on his head and luckily survived, told that though he was survived the attack but he wished to be martyred. He said two fingers of his right hand do not work and plans to get medical treatment in Dubai in the future.

Anas Khan, an eighth grade student said he never forgets the days when terrorist shouted Allaho Akbar and said that no one will be spared in this firing when they shouted in Pashto. “I hid myself beneath the desk. I lay there like I was dead. I was surrounded by the dead bodies of friends who had been shot in the head. A bullet hit my arm. The pain was unbearable but I stuffed my tie in my mouth so I would not scream,” he said.

“From the floor, I could see men with ankle high boots leaving the hall. I waited and dragged myself out of the hall and was finally rescued by army commandos.” Anas said.

An eighth grader Kashan said that he was horrified by this large scale massacre inside the school but he would not quit this school where hundred of students have given sacrifice for the cause of our country. “I will carry on my education in this institute and will not hesitate to fulfill the mission of the martyrs,” he vowed.