Terror attacks, more School Holidays
Schools holidays due to terror threats
Islamabad, Nov 9: The most wonderful thing about the approach of winter is the autumn, in which
the weather becomes very different from the summer. There is a positive nip in
the air, which demands, and not very politely at that, to be taken into
consideration given half the chance. Just such a chance happened last week, when
the reopened schools shut down again, especially for small children, and all
winter activities which were started had to be shut down again.
The parents were
more bothered than the children, who didn't really bother to find out why the
schools had closed down, but regarded these as some extra holidays, and spent
them watching television, and utterly neglecting their studies. The most recent
shutdown came after schools had reopened after the closure of the week before,
and after the blast in the approach to Lahore, that would probably have been
much worse if the militants had entered Lahore. Even without that blast, there
was much the same effect, and though the blast itself was abortive, it had a
widespread effect as schools shut down. Schools will reopen this week, before
Eidul Azha, but after Iqbal Day, which is today.
However, parents, for whose
benefit school was invented, shouldn't celebrate yet. For the schools have shown
that they can be shut down by a blast which didn't kill anyone. The militants
have also got themselves into a tangle, because they have suddenly got a
following among the most untalented students of every school, who attend only
because they are forced to by their parents. If the militants come to power,
they will find that these students expect them to declare permanent holidays. If
that makes them totally ignorant, that's life, too bad, and the schools don't
care. Come to think of it, the kids don't either. Schools these days exist only
to generate profits, and kids only go to school because they offer generous
So it seems that a blast anywhere can shut down the schools, which
only mind if it means they can't charge fees.
Has anyone noticed American
schools shutting down? No wonder they have a better
educational system. And if anyone puts the Pakistani Schoolchild up as a Warrior
on Terror, even though Rehman Malik is doing all the hard work, they will be
doing a grave injustice. Any money in the name of the War, in US dollars, must
go to the President, and any visas must go to Rehman Malik's parties, no matter
how fierce their trousers. So long as American schools stay open, the War on
Terror is worth it. The nation
City, Country: pakistan quetta
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Suicide attacks at educational institutions
Peshawar: The recent spate of suicide attacks that has claimed scores of precious lives
once again forced the closure of educational institutions in the NWFP. Earlier,
the operation in Swat had necessitated the recent closure of educational
The terrorists seem to have won the day again, albeit
temporarily, as one pictures them laughing all the way back to their dens,
blanketed irredeemably in ignorance.
This, perhaps, is the ugliest facet
of the terrorists' war on the people and land of the Frontier, as revealed by
their consistent hostility to centres of learning.
behaviour on the part of those claiming to be waging a holy war unflatteringly
brings to mind former US president George W. Bush's words. "They are jealous of
our freedom", was the common refrain of the former president in his speeches.
There could be no other motive than the basest degree of jealousy that provokes
the terrorists to blow up educational institutions and convert young boys and
girls into creatures craving for human blood.
The much lampooned Mr Bush
hence stands vindicated when seen in the backdrop of the terrorists' manifest
hatred for education. If the NWFP's malfunctioning education system - vulnerable
no less to natural disasters - could incite such frenzied jealousy, one could
well imagine the extent of fury directed at the West.
It is no secret
that terrorists draw inspiration from their mentors, who act as agent
provocateurs by fomenting anger and then wish to be seen as mediators. One such
mentor-in-chief turned mediator is presently in Central Jail Peshawar. With his
face turned away from the camera, 'Maulana' Sufi Mohammad, of the many infamous
uprisings of Malakand, revealed his utmost contempt for education to a
television interviewer just before the onset of the operation in Malakand.
"I detest the idea of education for girls," the old curmudgeon was heard
saying. "And what if women fall sick; is it allowed to take them to a male
doctor?" a visibly perturbed interviewer asked him. "Such a situation could be
likened to eating pork when Muslims dying of hunger are permitted to eat the
meat of the forbidden animal," Sufi declared while unabashedly rationalising his
opposition to girls' education.
God forbid if Sufi is remembered as the
leader of the Pakhtuns in the annals of history; history must do justice by
presenting him as the man responsible for leading thousands to their death in
the aftermath of the US attack on Afghanistan in 2001.
self-respecting people will take up the senile mullah's outpourings as a
challenge to their collective sense of shame. The fact that Pakhtuns did not do
so does not suggest that they have taken leave of their sense of propriety; it
does, however, prove that the rate of literacy in the Frontier is mournfully low
to understand and register an effective response to the mullah's taunts.
One must appreciate the way Punjab ridiculed the suggestions of possible
Taliban training camps on its soil. Unfortunately, the Frontier is not educated
enough to react in the same fashion: the few who are and have access to the
media would rather own the Taliban by calling them Pakhtuns who do not
But the facts speak for themselves. With a population of 17.7
million, the 1998 census reported a mere 28 per cent literacy rate in the
Frontier. The literacy rate among females was an abysmal 13 per cent, dropping
down further to 10 per cent in the rural areas. The survey indicated that nearly
75 per cent of the people spoke Pushto. Eleven years after the data was
published, the state of education in the province substantiates that those vital
statistics were made little use of.
True, the prevalent grievous
situation could not be wholly attributed to the neglect of education. In fact it
looks quite a paradox pleading a case for more and quality education to rid the
Frontier of the curse of militancy. The hardcore militant's fast emerging
hi-tech face presents him as a force tutored in war games and equipped with
diabolical gadgets. The militants appear to have the services of computer geeks,
doctors and communication gurus at their disposal. The tactics employed and the
level of resistance thus far witnessed reveals the strength of the
The sad saga of the last 10 years or
so reveals that Pakhtuns have allowed themselves to be used as cannon fodder.
They now need to be tutored to stop responding to the call to arms and listen to
the voice of reason. And reason must be explained in the language of science.
The apologetic criteria used to determine the rate of literacy must now
be discarded to see the real picture, which is even more gruesome. Those who can
only read and write their names can, in reality, read and write nothing. The
present provincial government, with its avowed secular credentials, must take
the bull by the horns, removing distortions from the history books to lessen the
burden both on the shoulders and on minds.
Pakhtuns need space to
accommodate science. And the place that needs science more than any other is the
seminary. With cellphones buzzing on silent mode in their pockets, students in
the seminaries have already voted in favour of science. They must learn now how
to earn their livelihood and raise and support their families by producing the
gadgets that they are fascinated by. Dawn
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Balochistan university BA/BSc paper schedule
Quetta: Final papers of BA/B Sc annual examination 2009 would be held as per schedule Monday Nov 9, 2009 despite public
holiday. This was stated by University of Balochistan sources here Sunday. F.P Report
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Security enhanced at Schools, colleges
Quetta: Security has been mounted at schools and Colleges following
hand grenade attack at Girls High School Manno Jan road here Saturday. According
to details, security of public and private schools and colleges have been made
strict following yesterday's hand grenade attack on Girls High School Manoo Jan
rod Hudda. Heavy deployment of police and other law enforcement agencies has
been made. This follows Chief Minister's directives for making security at the
schools and college very strict. F.P Report
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