Indian students pray for Pakistanis killed in Peshawar attack – Channel News Asia
NEW DELHI: Students in India held prayer vigils for the children and teachers killed in an attack by Taliban militants on an army-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan, with the death toll now approaching 150, prompting global revulsion and putting the government under new pressure to combat the scourge of militancy.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condemned the attack as a “cowardly” act by Taliban militants and security agencies in India have also swung into action fearing any possible attack in the country, Channel NewsAsia reports.
India and Pakistan remain distrustful following a recent spate of ceasefire violations in the divided Himalayan state of Kashmir, but the murder of students has touched a chord.
“Children are the future,” an India student said. “The terrorists should not have killed our future. That’s of no use. In fact, by killing the future they have only united us, which will be harmful to the militants.”
Foreign secretary level talks between the two countries were suspended in August after Islamabad’s envoy hosted Kashmiri separatists at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. But on Wednesday (Dec 17), India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval visited the same High Commission to express his condolences over the horrific Peshawar attack.
“It’s not about what India should learn from it, it’s about what the World has to learn, and everyone should condemn such attacks,” said Doval.
At the same time the attack has heightened concern ahead of India’s Republic day on Jan 26, with U.S President Barack Obama as the chief guest. A nationwide alert has been sounded and security at public places, especially at schools, has been tightened.
“As I told you, we have taken all necessary steps and have instructed necessary people and institutions to take steps,” said B S Bassi, police commissioner of Delhi.