India condemns terror attack on Pakistan’s school at UN

NATIONS : India strongly condemned the “barbaric” terror attack by the Taliban on a school in Pakistan that killed 141 people, mostly children, as UN chief Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council called for perpetrators of the “blood-curdling attack” to be brought to justice.
India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Bhagwant Bishnoi said India joins the UN Secretary-General and other nations in condemning in the “strongest possible terms the horrific attack on innocent school children” in Pakistan.
“We cannot but feel a sense of deep revulsion and horror. Our hearts go out to the grief stricken families of the innocent children killed and injured in this barbaric attack,” Bishnoi said during an open debate in the Security Council yesterday on UN-African Union partnership.
In one of the deadliest attacks targeting children, Taliban suicide attackers stormed an army-run school firing randomly and throwing grenades.
The eight-hour assault left 141 people, including 133 uniformed schoolchildren, dead and many injured.
UN Secretary-General Ban led the world body in its strong condemnation of the “blood-curdling” attack, saying it is an act of horror and rank cowardice on defenseless children” going to school to learn.
The powerful Security Council issued a press statement condemning the “depraved and savage” terrorist attack against the children.
The Council members reiterated their condemnation of violations and abuses committed against children by terrorists and underscored that the attack by the Tehrik-e-Taliban would only strengthen their resolve to support the people of Pakistan and fight terrorism.
The Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of the reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice.
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan is on the UN’s Al-Qaeda Sanctions List and is subject to asset freeze and arms embargo.
Stressing that the UN would continue to support the Pakistan government in its fight against terror and extremism, Ban called for the perpetrators of the attack to be brought to justice saying “no cause could justify such brutality.”
“Getting an education is every child’s right. Going to school should not have to be an act of bravery,” he said sending his condolences to everyone affected by the tragedy.
Senior officials from across the world body echoed Ban’s comments, with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, also condemning “an utterly despicable and incomprehensibly vicious attack on defenseless children.”
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for
Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui also expressed her shock and outrage at the massacre.
“The Tehrik-i-Taliban, who claimed today’s attack, continue to demonstrate that they have no regard for human rights,” Zerrougui said.
“They must be held accountable.”
There were 78 attacks against schools, teachers and schoolchildren reported to the United Nations in Pakistan last year, most of which were carried out by the Tehrik-i-Taliban and aligned local groups in Khyber Pakhtunkhw province, of which Peshawar is the capital.
UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova condemned the attack as “a crime against the future of all children and the nation of Pakistan” and “against learning and innocence”.
“Terror will not silence the millions of voices around the world that are demanding education to be a right and for schools to be safe. We will not let fear nor terror have the upper hand,” she said.
Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Tony Lake called the attack “horrific” and “callous” and said it should have more effect than merely to shock the conscience of the world.
“It must also summon us, all the more, to support the parents of Pakistan who wish for their children the best possible education – and all those who are working to provide it,” he said.
UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown said the world was mourning “a human tragedy of monstrous proportion” that would bring grief to every school in the world.
“The whole world will be shocked and heartbroken at the massacre in Peshawar that has destroyed so many innocent young lives,” he said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called the attack a national tragedy. (AGENCIES)


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