NEW DELHI: The year-end barbaric massacre of nearly 140 defenceless, innocent children at an army-run school in Peshawar by terror outfit Tehrik-e-Taliban has not only failed to deter Pakistani children from their quest of knowledge and education, but has emboldened them enough to ask terrorists to see reason and shun violence.
"The attack on our fellow students in Peshawar is shameful and heartless. No matter what they do, we will continue to pursue the path of education," says Nor Nabi Noor Mir, a class VI student of Lahore Grammar School.
"We request the terrorist to be humane and not act against humanity as they will not do any good to either the people or to themselves," adds Noor, in a voice that surprises many but sounds much saner than that of the prophets of doom.
The terror at attack at the Peshawar school, which has etched a horrid image of the violence in the minds of parents and students, has prompted civil societies to intensify their fight against terrorism and atrocities in Pakistan with Indian school children too extending their support to Pakistani students.
Schools in the national capital have also condemned the attack by voicing their opinion.
"The recent attacks on students in Peshawar are inhuman and people of Pakistan should condemn it. Both India and Pakistan should forget their issues (mutual problems) and sit together to rid the sub-continent of terrorism as terrorists do not belong to any country. They are enemy of humanity," says Sahitya Rajgopal, a class XI student at Tagore
International school here.
"Many have lost their lives and India must help Pakistan in conquering terrorism. Both should act together to fight terrorism. By doing this both countries will develop good
bonds," says Priyanka Jain, a class IX student at Ved Samaj Modern School here.
As students and people across Pakistan and India held candle light vigil condemning the attack and terming it as their own mini "9/11", leaders across the globe feel this attack can be "the game changer in Pakistan" in their attitude to deal with terrorists.
"Our parents have given us the confidence to get to school and learn and I, in turn, would urge students in Pakistan to stand up against terrorism. I would urge terrorists to realise that war is not a solution to any problem. I would also request governments of both India and Pakistan to ideate together on eradication of terrorism," says Sayed Aiman Jamil Bukhari, a standard X student of Trust School at Lahore.
The savage terror attack on Peshawar Public Army School which claimed lives of 141 people mostly children aged between 4 to 16 years, have had an effect on many students, participating in student exchange programs between the two countries.
Delhi-based NGO Routes2Roots, which has been conducting the program in which students from Pakistan and India visit each others' country and learn about art, culture, cuisine and history, fears that their parents may develop cold feet in sending their children to such programs.
"There have been concerns from parents and students but the program is going to continue. Children are the leaders of tomorrow. It means if we get bogged down by such cowardly acts, the problems of the society will not be resolved. We hope to bring about positive changes in the future of both Indian and Pakistani students," says Routes2Roots founder Rakesh Gupta.
Demanding peace and brotherhood in the sub-continent, the students of the two neighbouring nations have urged terrorists to refrain from inhuman activities and negotiate and talk to authorities.
"They should not be violent and negotiate with proper authorities. Everyone deserves peace and education, which is the basic human right. I also appeal to the government to protect us," says Nadir Hamidi Student of standard 6, Bay View School, Karachi.