‘Talk to me, I am their mother’, said the fierce Tahira Qazi when terrorists asked for the children

وہ سر کھولے ہماری لاش پر دیوانہ وار آئے
اِسی کو موت کہتے ہیں تو یارب باربار آئے

From holy books to folk tales, there is only one bond whom the narrators swear upon to add validity to what they are saying because such is the purity of it – the bond of a mother and child. But honorable Tahira Qazi showed that there exists another bond that is equally strong, if not more.

16th December is here again with all the heart-wrenching memories of one of the darkest days that Pakistan has ever seen. When terrorists stormed the doors of Army Public School Peshawar, Tahira Qazi chose to stay there and sacrificed her life for the sake of her students. There are many accounts of what happened between Tahira and terrorists that day. However, one thing that all of them have in common is her valor. She was fearless. She fought bravely.

T
ahira, the principal of APS Peshawar, was evacuated. But she chose to go back in the building, confronted the terrorists and repeatedly asked them to leave the children alone.

Image from Express Tribune:
Ahmad Qazi with his mother on Eid in 2008

“She was there evacuating students who were stuck inside. She even confronted the terrorists and told them to take her phone and whatever else they wanted ‘but leave the kids alone’’, said her son in an interview to Express Tribune. Terrorists repeatedly asked her about the children but she refused to give them any information. She said that she is their mother, so they should talk to her.

“She was heard telling the men she cannot hand over the children and asked them to stop the massacre…those who heard this exchange then heard nothing for a moment and then a blast. She was in the administration block.”

“She was evacuated but she went back in.”

Ahmad, her son, says that he is proud of the path she chose to walk. He said that rather than choosing to save her life, she chose to go back in and save her children.

“If she was destined to go that day, she would have gone no matter where she was. She chose a better death and I am proud of her. If she was meant to, she could have survived a hail of bullets – after all 26 people out of 29 survived in the administration block,” Ahmad said.

Tahira was very caring and affectionate towards her students. She would always stay in the school till the last child had left because she was extra cautious due to incidents of abductions in Peshawar. Her students said how she would always support them and would direct the teachers specifically to give extra attention to academically weak students to assure they can perform well.

Tahira wrote a new chapter in the book of bravery – a chapter that will be cherished and celebrated for years. Remembering the brave Tahira Qazi on 16th December. Forever in hearts.

  • naseem shabbir says:

    hats off n salute to the teacher allah give her jannat to her n students of all age who’s life were taken away n their parnets who are still in pain n sorrow allah bless thm .

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