Pakistan has been fighting the Taliban on a daily basis for years with many being killed injured and scared for their lives and families. The worst affected area has been the northwest region in Pakistan. On 16th December 2014 Militants from the Pakistani Taliban attacked an army-run school in Peshawar, killing 141 people, 132 of them children and nine staff members.
Many of the students were 16 and under and were the children of military personnel.
This massacre shocked the country as it has been the deadliest attack by the Taliban yet in Pakistan. Victims who survived said the militants moved from classroom to another shooting indiscriminately.
This is not a stand-alone attack from the Taliban in Pakistan, and over the years they have been many attacks and killings:
22 September 2013: At least 80 people killed at a church in Peshawar, in one of the worst attacks on Christians
10 January 2013: 120 killed targeting the Hazara Shia Muslim minority in the city of Quetta.
28 May 2010: Attack on two mosques of the minority Ahmadi Islamic sect in Lahore, killed 80+ people
18 October 2007: Rally for Benazir Bhutto in Karachi at least 130 dead. Unclear if Taliban behind attack
Former cricket captain and leader of PTI Imran Khan condemned the 16th December 2014 attack as “utter barbarism” and called off his four month protest to get rid of the current government.
WHY DID IT HAPPEN?
It is often confused that because it is the Taliban who are a group of far right extreme idealists who use religion as a defence to cover their intentions, that every time they attack it is in the name of religion or to stop western influences.
They are simply terrorists, despite their religion but are always labelled as ‘Muslim terrorists’. In the same way if a Christian murdered 100 people, does this change the fact that a murderer is a murderer?
The truth to the attack on 16th December 2014 which has been confirmed directly from a Taliban spokesman who told BBC Urdu that the school, which is run by the army, had been targeted in response to military operations. Another, Pakistani Taliban spokesman Mohammad Khurasani said the militants had been “forced” to launch the attack in response to army attacks.
The Taliban reacted as they felt under threat- not religiously motivated. It is not just the West who is under threat or affected by the Taliban – many suffer from Taliban Occupation in Muslim countries.