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Pakistani PM Vows Revenge For Slain Schoolchildren

  • RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has vowed to avenge the deaths of the 122 schoolchildren killed last year in Peshawar by Taliban gunmen.

Sharif told a group of children who were wounded in the massacre at the school in northwestern Pakistan one year ago that he would "take revenge for every drop of your blood."

Families of the victims, military and political leaders, as well as celebrities and sports stars also attended the ceremony marking the event, which was broadcast on live television.

In the wake of the attack, Pakistan stepped up its campaign against Islamic militants, lifted a moratorium on the death penalty, and began trying alleged militant extremists in military courts.

The Pakistani Army claims it has killed some 3,400 Islamic militants in a major military push in the North Waziristan tribal region along the Afghan border in the past 19 months.

Two survivors of the massacre attended a ceremony on December 15 in the British city of Birmingham that was organized by Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

Special Report: Slaughter Of The Innocents

Malala warned on December 15 that politicians risk encouraging more extremist attacks when they criticize all Muslims, in a condemnation of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's proposal to bar Muslims from the United States.

"That's really tragic that you hear these comments which are full of hatred, full of this ideology of being discriminative towards others," she told AFP.

“I can just highlight one thing," she said In an interview on Channel 4 News, speaking of Trump's proposal. "The more you speak about Islam and against all Muslims, the more terrorists we create.”

“So it’s important that whatever politicians say, whatever the media say, they should be really, really careful about it.

"If your intention is to stop terrorism, do not try to blame the whole population of Muslims for it because it cannot stop terrorism. It will radicalize more terrorists.”

"If we want to end terrorism, we need to bring quality education so we defeat the mindset of terrorism mentality and of hatred," she said.

Malala, 18, underwent extensive surgery and recovery in England after being shot at point blank range by Taliban gunmen as she rode a school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley in 2012.

She won the Nobel prize last year for her heroism, and for speaking out afterwards for the education of girls worldwide.

Malala's father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, also spoke out against blaming all Muslims after an extremist attack like the one in San Bernardino, California earlier this month that killed 14 people and prompted Trump's proposal to bar Muslim immigrants from the United States.

"It will be very unfair, very unjust that we associate 1.6 billion with a few terrorist organizations," he said, citing an estimate of the number of Muslims worldwide.


With reporting by AFP, BT.com, BBC News, and Mirror.co
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