Peshawar school attack: Imran Khan visits families of those killed in Pakistan shooting to say Eid-ul-Fitr prayers at the end of Ramadan

Former cricketer-turned politician tells media Pakistan must negotiate with terror group who carried out the attack

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The Independent Online

Imran Khan has been leading tributes in the city of Peshawar in Pakistan today as families face their first Eid-ul-Fitr without their children following last year’s brutal Taliban attack on a school.

The former cricketer-turned-politician was joined by his wife, former BBC presenter, Reham Khan, to meet and pray with the parents of the pupils who were killed in the shock terrorist attack which claimed 145 lives.

Announcing that an official one-minute silence will take place on every anniversary of the shooting, the politician later spoke with the media about the importance of holding negotiations with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) – the group behind the attack.

He told them: “If America can negotiate with the Afghan Taliban, Pakistan and Afghanistan should also negotiate with them.”

As #DuaForAPSMartyrs (#PrayForAPSMartyrs) began to trend on Twitter throughout the country, Pakistan remembered ‘the Pakistani Taliban’s deadliest attack to date’ when, last December, gunmen walked from class to class shooting students in the city’s Army Public School (APS).

132 children were among those killed which prompted a national outcry in the country. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared three days of mourning and said: “I have decided to proceed to Peshawar and I will supervise the operation myself. These are my children and it is my loss.”

World leaders and royal figures from across the globe also shared Mr Sharif’s sentiments with Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince Charles and the Queen all condemning the attack and offering the country their sympathies.

After claiming responsibility for the attack, the TTP described it as ‘an act of revenge’ for Operation Zarb-e-Azb – a military offensive against terror groups, including the TTP.

However, this year’s Eid – which is usually a jubilant festival to celebrate the Holy Month of Ramadan – has been marred for the hundreds of families who are still struggling to cope without their loved-ones.

As well as celebrating the end of Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr is a religious festival which also sees Muslims honour the dead.