Schools under target

Anti-social elements on the night between Wednesday and Thursday detonated some improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Badaber thus causing extensive damage to the buildings of two government schools meant for girls. According to details provided by area police, the IEDs had been planted near a primary and a high school in Shurikhel (Salmankhel) and the resultant explosion destroyed more than half of both the buildings. In recent days, suspected militants carried out identical attacks and targeted schools in the suburban villages of Charkhakhel near Gulberg, Palosai near Agriculture  University and Pir Bala on Warsak Road. Ever since the times the unidentified anti-social elements started targeting schools first in Swat Valley, Landi Kotal, Bara and now in and around Peshawar, there has not been any elaborate and substantial probe by police or investigative reporting by any section of the print and the electronic media as to who precisely is responsible for these unpardonable acts of subversion but broadly speaking the general public and the law enforcing agencies have been pointing the accusing fingers at militants.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province is already a backward region with a shamefully low rate of literacy. Approximately a total of 450 to 475 schools have so far been destroyed by explosions. The forces of darkness and agents of obscurantism want to drag the people back into the Stone Age. The available funds are being pumped into the reconstruction of the dynamited schools. The process of teaching and learning stands suspended. More than half the girls of school-going age feel compelled to stay indoors because no school in the vicinity is intact where they can go for studies. Members of civil society – doctors, engineers, academics – have displayed deafening silence over the large-scale destruction of schools around them. Sooner rather than later, someone has to stand up and stop the hands of the saboteurs before it is too late. – statesman