The questions I asked myself after the attack revolved around one word: why? Why would an adult want to mercilessly kill hundreds of innocent children? It took a long time but eventually I found the answer
The last time I heard the joy and laughter of my classmates was on the morning of 16 December 2014 in Pakistan. It had been a perfectly normal start to the day and my friends and I were joking around in a lesson and having fun. But just after 10.30am, everything changed. Six men – terrorists – broke in to my school and started shooting indiscriminately at my friends and teachers.
I was badly injured. My teacher was burned alive in front of me. I laid there for hours on end, counting the bomb blasts, surrounded by the dead and dying, unable to help or do anything. By the end of the attack 149 people had been murdered. Some of the victims were as young as eight years old.
For my family the worst was yet to come. Fifteen days later, while recovering from my injuries in hospital, I found out that my brother Haris had been killed in the attack. That morning he hadn’t wanted to go to school but I had forced him and now he was dead, shot in the head while trying to save someone else. He was only 13, a year younger than me. In that moment, I was suddenly broken into pieces. I was angry. I remember thinking that no one should have to suffer like this. No one should have to see that pain in their parents’ eyes.