Karzai, Afghan Taliban condemn Peshawar onslaught
KABUL (Pajhwok): Former president Hamid Karzai and the Afghan Taliban have condemned yesterday’s attack on a school in the capital of Pakistan’s northeastern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The raid left 141 dead, including 132 children.
The onslaught involving seven gunmen wearing suicide vests lasted eight hours on the busy Warsak Road, with the attackers killing children as young as 12 years old.
The bloodiest attack ever plunged Pakistan into deep mourning and prompted the Nawaz Sharif-led government to convene an all parties meeting.
Hours after the attack, Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif arrived in Kabul on a surprise visit to seek Afghan military’s cooperation for a joint operation to counter terrorism.
Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the attack on the Army Public School as “barbaric.”
A statement from his office quoted Karzai as saying that such attacks were against Islamic teachings and unpardonable under any circumstances.
“The Peshawar attack is part of the war of which people on both sides of the Duran Line are victims,” he said. Karzai extended his condolences to the bereaved families and wished early recovery for those injured.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan Education Ministry also condemned the attack on the school in Peshawar. In a statement, the ministry said Afghanistan as part of the Education for All (EFA) international initiative believed that education was every child’s religious and human right.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of victims of this heartbreaking incident as we consider attacks on schools against religious and human principles.”
The Education Ministry said it had lost many employees and students to such barbaric attacks and could feel better than anyone else the pain of the incident in Peshawar.
The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for the massacre, saying it was in retaliation to the military operation in Waziristan and Khyber tribal regions.
Meanwhile, the Afghan Taliban condemned the raid in Peshawar, saying they had always condemened the killing of children and innocent people at every juncture.
“The intentional killing of innocent people, women and children goes against the principles of Islam and every Islamic government and movement must adhere to this fundamental essence."
The group said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the official name of the Taliban) expressed its condolences over the incident and mourned with the families of killed children.
Loosely affiliated to the Pakistan Taliban, the Afghan Taliban often distance themselves from attacks that kill many civilians.
Last week they claimed responsibility for a suicide attack at a theatre show in the French cultural centre in Kabul that killed one person and injured 15.
The United Nations says the majority of civilian casualties in Afghanistan are caused by the Taliban and other armed groups.
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