January 21, 2015
Our Education Youth Ambassador Aisha Rasool took it upon herself to pay homage to a woman who will remain in our memories for as long as we all shall live: Madam Tahira Qazi, the fearless lady who embraced martyrdom in the most heroic way during the ill-fated morning of December 16th, 2014.
‘A mother is a unique entity, who has been blessed with exclusive abilities. In the need of hour she can transform from a meal provider to a caretaker, from a caretaker to a protector and supporter. When she becomes a defender, she not only defends her own children but guards and fights for the children of her nation – this is when she becomes a legend.
16th December 2014, was an atrocious day in the history of Pakistan, when the fountain head of Army Public School, Peshawar got martyred. Madam Tahira Qazi, took her last breaths in cradle of education, in an institute where she had been serving for the past 24 years. She was an ambitious, determined and enthusiastic soul according to her students who saw her glimpses for the last time in the institute before she was helping students to escape from the building.
When sharing her profound dedication to duty, her son Ahmad Qazi mentioned that once he was in Islamabad and ill with a fever of 104 degrees , but since he was supposed to to lead the parade in the school, his mother instructed him to come back to Peshawar immediately so he can fulfill his responsibility. However as a loving and concerned mother she made soup and green tea for her son, for his quick recovery. This shows how earnest and diligent she was in her practical life.
She was a sincere and zealous person in her institute who would drag the non-serious students into her office for counseling sessions. “She would go hard about Education”, Ahmad related this when he was asked about her previous students who are still coming for condolences from various parts of the country. He described her as a caring person, who would watch over and who would keep tabs that no student is left behind in school after the school timings, as she was always vigilant about the issue of kidnapping of kids. Her school used to end around 2pm but she used to stay till 4pm so that no child stays back alone in school.
She was always busy managing things on her own. She was so passionate and wholeheartedly involved in this institute that although she got a far better job offers, she turned them down.
Her students miss her and will always remember her as she has been a life changer for many of them. One of her students who is currently serving in the Navy, came to the family after the incident and shared that he never used to attend the classes and because of shortage of attendance, administration office was not letting him appear for his matriculation exams. But she stood up for her student and took matters in her own hands by saying “He is my responsibility now” and after that she took a solemn vow from him that he will have to study hard for the exams and will miss no more classes. Another student of her is serving in Pakistan Army as an engineer, who commemorated her character as strong as women. Indeed, she was a woman with vision, she could sense things with her eyes, a notorious kid who got injured by a bullet in the same incident shared that he was one of those pupils who would hardly stick around for regular classes in college, but Ms Qazi made him the head boy of the college just to indulge and channelize his energy into something more productive. Each student of her demands the highest civil award for her.
Her son said, she was a disciplined lady, she had some principles in her life, on which she would never compromise. She was the one who was managing her house without any helper, she had to take care of her special child as well. He was the most pampered and dear one to her. Ahmad aforementioned “She used to manage all the affairs. How she used to do it, we don’t know , but we can’t replace her for sure”.
Sometimes it is very difficult to describe people who stand high in every aspect of life, she was one of those people. She had a pure soul , dauntless and fearless – she will be remembered for ages. Ahmad, who was holding his head high because of her proud mother, said ” If she would have escaped that day from school and left her students in the school, she would have probably died of a heart attack but she chose the right death for her” and indeed she chose a sacramental death, which will always receive a sanctifying regard.’