Peshawar school victims remembered at memorial service

SHAFAQNA – Chan Parmar, strategic officer at Bolton Interfaith Council, who is helping to organise a memorial service for the victims of the Peshawar school massacre

VICTIMS of the Peshawar school massacre will be remembered at a memorial service held in Bolton in the New Year.

Bolton Interfaith Council has arranged the service along with Reverand Fayaz Adman to remember the 141 people — 132 of whom were school children, as well as staff and soldiers — who were brutally killed by the Taliban in a military-run school on December 16.

Rev Adman, who moved to Britain from Peshawar in 2004 with his family, has organised and championed a number of positive projects for the needy people in the troubled Pakistan city, and he will be speaking at the service, which is taking place at his church, St Pauls with Emmanuel Church in Deane on Saturday, January 3, at 5pm.

The Bishop of Bolton, Rt Revd Chris Edmondson will be leading the service, and other faith and community leaders such as Rodger Petch, Area Dean for Bolton, will also be in attendance.

Rev Adman said: “What made this attack so brutal was the killing of so many innocent children.

“At times such as this, Bolton needs to show its solidarity with the nations in Pakistan. That is why I have invited a number of different faith groups. The service will be a time to think about the bereaved families and show our love, concern and support to those who have lost their loved ones.

“My family, including my wife and I come from the city of Peshawar and I wanted to put on the service for people who would like to show support to the victims’ families, whether they are Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus — anyone can pay their respects.”

Chan Parmar, strategic officer at Bolton Interfaith Council, said: “It is awful to lose loved ones at any time but for so many people including 132 children to be killed intentionally is a terrible tragedy.

“Our sympathies go out to the families and friends that have lost loved ones. From a community cohesion point of view it is good for Bolton to come together at such tragic times.”

Bolton boxer Amir Khan is also planning to visit the region in the coming days.

He has also vowed to auction his £30,000 shorts — which he wore in his most recent fight in Las Vegas where he defeated American Devon Alexander — and give the proceeds towards a fund to rebuild the Peshawar school.

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