12/18/2015, 00.00
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Peshawar massacre: still no justice for the victims and survivors

by Skafique Khokhar
134 children and nine adults were killed in the massacre. Associations of relatives of the victims say there has been no investigation into the lack of adequate security in the school. The army and provincial officials were informed of possible attacks. No help to the wounded or compensation for the parents of students.

Peshawar (AsiaNews) - A year after the Taliban massacre in a Peshawar military school, which resulted in the deaths of 134 children and nine adults there has been no inquiry to investigate breaches of the schools security system , the promised aid has not been distributed and there has been no medical assistance to the survivors.

These are the complaints denounced by the relatives of the victims of the massacre that took place on Dec. 16, 2014, whose anniversary was remembered by the Catholic Church of Pakistan with special prayers. Relatives complain that the government has not kept its promises made  in the aftermath of the tragedy and is not investigating the responsibility of the military and local officials, who had been warned of possible attacks against the school.

Relatives of the victims claim that the incident led by a commando made up of nine people affiliated with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), "is the result of the negligence of the army officers, who run the school, and their irresponsible attitude towards security”. They insist that armed soldiers were guarding the military camp, but no one was able to stop the attackers, who held the building hostage for more than an hour.

Family members also accused the Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak, head of the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He was informed by the intelligence services of possible bloodshed.

There are also unresolved issues. Instead of conducting independent surveys on the negligence of the army, pressure was mounted to change the Constitution and establish military tribunals. This initiative is branded by relatives of the victims as "another slap in the face for the judiciary" in Pakistan.

Recently, the only concrete action the government was the execution by hanging of four alleged accomplices. They were accused of aiding and belonging to Toheedwal Jihad Group (TWJ), a little-known Islamist group. Instead the identities of the perpetrators remain unknown. Survivors believe that the death sentence was only "an attempt to quell their protests, the demand for justice and a serious inquiry about the incident."

Finally, the association of survivors and relatives of the victims complain that they received only the body of the deceased and death certificates, but no compensation. The government had promised free medical care for the wounded and 2 million Pakistani rupees [just over 17 thousand euro - ed] to the parents of students. Instead, patients have had to bear the full amount of medical expenses and those who received funding reported that the sum "is insufficient to cover the costs of medical treatment and psychiatric therapy."

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