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School life helps youth overcome Lal Masjid saga

ISLAMABAD, Aug 28: With the reopening of schools and colleges after summer vacations, life is returning to normal in the capital city that saw its worst times when security forces stormed the Lal Masjid in July this year.

Though students are still carrying grim memories of the Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa saga and have instructions from their parents not to visit public places, with each passing day they are getting more and more involved in their routine school life.

Earlier, there were reports that the government might consider extending summer vacations due to the deteriorating security situation in the capital city, but schools resumed their classes as per schedule on August 15.

Following the decision of the government, private schools also went ahead with their time table and at present all educational institutions have reopened after the summer break.

When asked, students of the City School's capital campus expressed their sad feelings about the whole episode of Lal Masjid and hoped that no such incident takes place in future.

Replying to another query, they said they still feel a kind of hidden fear, as every other day there was a suicide bombing elsewhere in the country and Islamabad had been hit twice after the Lal Masjid tragedy.

"My father is in the air force and I have been strictly asked not to use the staff car outside the precincts of the Air Headquarters. Besides, all of my class fellows have instructions from their parents not to move outside the school's boundary," a student of class-VII said.

Talking to us, a female teacher of the school who was waiting for her transport also argued that "it (Lal Masjid saga) should have not happened and the government should have opted for some other option to solve it."

She also admitted that students did express a kind of discomfort whenever they talked about the happenings that the usually peaceful city of Islamabad had undergone over the last couple of months.

"Of course, it is a changed city after the killing of so many young people at the madressah followed by the worsening law and security situation. I remain concerned until my three sons come back from their school," a father who was also waiting outside the school premises said. Dawn
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