December 16 marks the one year anniversary of the Peshawar school massacre, the deadliest attack on a civilian or military target in Pakistan’s history. The attack killed more than 150 people, most of them children from army families.
The country’s leaders promised to crackdown in the wake of the attack, and the past year has seen an intense offensive on groups such as the Pakistani Taliban (also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban), which was responsible for the massacre. The offensive, known as Zarb-e-Azb, has received significant public support and been credited with a major drop in civilian deaths from “terrorist violence”, the fewest since 2006.
But some argue problems have just been pushed across the border into Afghanistan, and that conditions for an uptick in violence still exists. When it comes to the state’s methods, civil rights groups have criticised the resumption of capital punishment after a six year moratorium, as well as the Supreme Court’s decision to allow terror suspects to be tried in military courts. Due to the country’s history of military dictatorships – Pakistan’s first civilian transfer of power took place in 2013 – many are concerned with the army’s increased influence. They worry the use of the courts may soon extend to political opponents of the army.
So, one year on from witnessing the deadliest attack on their soil, how do Pakistanis feel about their safety and their future?
In this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Mohammad Jibran Nasir @MJibranNasir
Civil rights activist
Former Pakistani diplomat
Noreen Naseer @NoreenNaseer
Senior lecturer, University of Peshawar
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This episode’s story:
On The Stream: A year after the Peshawar school massacre, how has Pakistan changed?
Thumbnail: An army soldier stands in the Army Public School, which was attacked by Taliban gunmen, in Peshawar, on December 17, 2014. (REUTERS/ZOHRABENSEMRA)
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