“Our smiles are stronger than your guns,” read one of the 50 paintings the students of the Fine Arts Department of the Government College University displayed to remember the martyrs of the Army Public School, Peshawar.
The paintings not only depicted the gruesome act of the terrorists but also gave a strong message that the children of Pakistan cannot be terrorised by this cowardly act. “Yesterday you broke us today we will. Ab Buss (stop now). Stand united to raze terrorism. Defuse these warheads,” read some of the other paintings.
The bachelor students not only have expressed their emotions through their art work but also spoken about the pain they still feel remembering the APS victims. “I wish if I could erase Dec 16, 2014, from the calendar as the wounds of APS carnage are still fresh in my memories,” bachelor student Omar Dar told Dawn.
“They were 131 kids… they were 131 families, dreams, leaders. They all were gone in an hour. Terrorists wanted to terrorise us but they would not succeed. They cannot silence us,” he said.
Rubab Salim, another student, said: “Our nation has an ability to overcome this grief and emerge as a stronger one. We are not a weak nation. No such inhumane and brutal act can intimidate us,” she said.
“It was really difficult to draw something on the APS carnage. It was really painful. I have a younger brother and I see the faces of innocent APS martyrs in him,” said Mehwish, adding her painting was a tribute to the sacrifices and bravery of 150 people, mostly children.
“It’s almost a year but the wounds of APS carnage are still fresh, and I strongly believe that education for all will ultimately be the real revenge, said GCU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah.
“It’s education that will wipe out the terrorism. You can fight it and stop it for a period of time but ultimately education will end it,” he said adding he was pleased to see efforts of the students.
Prof Shah also paid glowing tributes to the soldiers of the armed forces, who are sacrificing their lives in war against terrorism.
Fine Arts Department head Erfanullah Babar said Dec 16, 2014, was a black day in the history of humanity which could never be forgotten. “Young artists have depicted that terrorists have failed and the great sacrifice of APS schoolchildren have united us as a nation to promote their mission of education,” he said.
The exhibition will remain open till Dec 15. Dawn/Pakdestiny