The students who survived a brutal attack on an army-run school here by Pakistani Taliban have vowed to continue their studies despite the gory incident, saying such acts of cowardice cannot deprive them of their right to education.
Recovering from bullet injuries, the students of Army Public School on Warsak Road said they eagerly wait to re-start their school and continue their studies.
The gruesome attack by Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP) militants on December 16 -- which claimed at least 148 lives, most of them children -- have failed in their nefarious designs of creating fear in the minds of the students, they say.
Ahmed Nawaz, a 10th grader being treated at Neurosurgery Department of Lady Reading, told PTI that he would join his classmates at the school after recovery, and will continue his studies.
Nawaz, though injured beamed with energy and wants to join the army to defend his country against the militants.
He is yet to be told about the loss of his brother Haris Nawaz, who dreamt of becoming a officer in the civil services. The 15-year-old said the assault on his school has further strengthened his commitment and passion to knowledge and fulfill the dreams of his parents.
Nawaz, while recalling his friends and classmates who fell to the bullets of the militants, said he could not forget the pain and trauma of the attack.
"The terrorists had fired (a) volley of bullets at my friends. I was also left unconscious after receiving bullets wounds," he said.
Nawaz said had the security forces not arrived on time the terrorists might have killed all the 1,100 students in the school.
He thanked security forces and doctors for rescuing 960 students and treating his injured friends, besides civil society members for their prayers.
Shah Meer, an eighth grader who sustained critical bullets wounds and is admitted to LRH's Cardiovascular Ward, said he too was eager to re-join his school. Without knowing that many of his friends died in the attack, Meer said he would resume studies "soon after my recovery."
"I am very worried about the safety of the players of my cricket team," said Meer, the captain of his cricket team. After recovery, Meer said, he would lead his team with more determination and will earn good name for his school. "Star cricketer Shahid Afridi is my favorite player and I would also try my level best to contribute in the field of sports and make a name for my country," he said.
Arbab Abdul Samad, a resident of Peshawar who was also injured in the attack and admitted to LRH's ICU, said the attack on students was an attack on the future of Pakistan. Samad said such acts of cowardice could not deprive him of his right to education.