Schools to remain closed till security put in place
Lahore, Oct 23: The government will not open educational institutions until satisfactory security arrangements are put in place. Out of 103 high-profile educational institutions in the City, only 40 have security system while rest of them have been asked to take security steps according to their requirements as soon as possible. Senior Adviser to Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa told the Punjab Assembly while responding to a point of order on Wednesday.
The Assembly session last day started one and a half hour beyond the stipulated time 10:am with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the Chair.
On a point of order by Ch Safraz Afzal, the House offered fateha for the students and others who killed in attacks on Islamic University Islamabad on Tuesday. The House also condemned attacks in the strongest terms.
The opposition wanted the House to discuss the terror situation in the province particularly following the Islamic University attacks but the Chair did not allow upon which Amna Ulfat staged a walkout. Dr Tahir Ali Javed of the Forward Bloc raised the issue of closure of the schools in the context that it was a loss to precious studies of the students. He asked the government to come clean on the real hands behind the terrorist acts in the country without giving it any other colour so that people could well know the real faces out to disturb our national life.
In reply, Zulfiqar Khan Khosa said the government would not open the institutions unless adequate security measures are put in place according to the needs. He said last day attendance in the schools was 50 per cent less which was likely to come down to 90 per cent out of terror scare and this factor also came into consideration while taking decision to close down the institutions. He said instructions had been passed through the home department and the DCOs to all institutions to complete their security arrangements. Khosa also urged the Chair to prorogue the current session as terrorists had also made threats against the Assembly.Your Comments
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Students resent government's decision
Lahore: Uncertainty still prevails in Punjab owing to no clear message from the government as to how long the educational institutions will remain closed so that the student should show patience against the loss of their studies.
Although it is just second day when the government had announced closure of the institutions, the students of both private and the public colleges and schools have started to resent the government decision. They are confused as one minister says the institutions will reopen from Monday while the other says they will remain closed for indefinite period till proper security mechanism is put in place.
The government finding inadequate security arrangement in most of the high-profile private schools in the City, has asked them to beef up security at their own and also adopt all measure required to foil any terror attempt. Obviously, the cost of the security measures, as students of the private institutions fear, will have to be borne by them.
The police department has agreed to deploy force outside the institutions but how many would get that cover from the available number of police personnel is a big question.
Following the instructions of Punjab government, all the educational institutions have been closed and its hostels have been vacated, however, hostels of certain medical colleges are open where some students and doctors are still staying.
An officer-bearer of the Young Doctor Association said King Edward Medical College was also closed down but the hostels were kept opened for some doctors and students where they were staying at their own risk. However, they have the facility of food at the hostel mess, he added.
A spokesman of the Punjab government has said educational institutions in Punjab had been closed for providing security to the students, teachers and concerned staff. In a statement the spokesman said heads and administration of educational institutions have been directed not to compel teachers and other staff to attend the educational institutions.
President of All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association Adib Javidani and other office-bearers of the association said in a joint press conference that government by closing educational institutions had fulfilled the desire of America who wanted to destroy our education system. All other provinces had announced the closure till October 25 but the Punjab government had announced it for an indefinite period which, they said, was not a right decision. They said if the Punjab government did not announce opening of the educational institutions by October 25 and provide security to them, their association would start protest across the province. The nation
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Schools & colleges to be re-opened soon
Lahore: Senior Provincial Minister Raja Riaz Ahmed has said that Punjab Government has taken concrete steps to save lives and properties of the masses and closure of educational institutions is an in-time strategy. He added that as soon due security measures are taken all educational institutions would be re-opened, soon. He also appealed to the people to remain vigilant and keep on eye on anti terrorists to avoid any untoward situation.
While talking to media, Senior Minister said that terrorists would never be allowed to set a parallel government. He said that our Armed Forces have under taken advancement and their efforts have foiled the nefarious designs of anti state elements. He assured that all necessary steps would be taken by the Punjab Government, in this regard and security agencies perform immediately to meet the situation. Replying to a question, Raja Riaz Ahmed told that on his initiative Prime Minister intervened in the matter and instance of Punjab on water distribution has been discussed in Council of Common Interest. He said that keeping in view present circumstances no province should think to take share of other. He said that working relationship between federal and Punjab Government is up to the mark and matters are being solved amicably. F.P. report
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Campuses told to take independent security measures
Lahore: The Punjab government has asked all educational institutions to adopt independent security measures instead of engaging law enforcement agencies personnel, as the latter are not only outnumbered but are also facing various challenges.
The latest security measures were floated in a meeting on Wednesday, which was attended by the Punjab chief secretary, the home secretary, the inspector general of police (IG) and the vice chancellors and heads of various educational institutions.
A fresh list of security measures was issued to the educational institutions, including the universities, in order to cope with the terror threat, which has emerged after the twin bombings at the International Islamic University in Islamabad (IIUI).
The administrations of all key educational institutions still believed that the current measures issued by the government would not be sufficient to tackle the terror threat and opening the campuses without proper security would not be safe.
Security measures: The new measures include the installation of closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras at sensitive points in and outside the campuses along with a proper monitoring room to coordinate with all internal and external security links. The institutions were also ordered to install walk-through gates and deploy guards to search people with metal detectors. The institutions would also set up parking lots away from the premises, visitors may be asked to walk from the parking lots or an inter-campus shuttle service should be created to facilitate students and teachers. The decision aimed to avoid any vehicles laden with explosive ramming into the premises of the institutions and to prevent car bombings.
The institutions have been asked to keep the majority of their gates blocked and closed with a proper monitoring system and only one or two of the gates should be opened for entrance and exit purposes. The security guards must be equipped with sophisticated weapons and other security equipments to counter the automatic weapons and modern techniques being used by the terrorists to infiltrate different buildings.
Visitors and guests: The government also urged a ban on the presence of guests in student hostels in order to avoid penetration of unidentified persons inside the campuses and to avoid any security risks.
No student or staff member would be allowed inside the educational institutions without identity cards. The administrations were also asked to launch an awareness campaign among the students and the staff members on how to respond to a possible terror attack. The institutions were also asked to build properly secured boundary walls with barbed wires, and to establish watch posts in order to counter a terrorist trying to enter into the premises.
The administrations of the mainstream educational institutions hailed the new security measures issued by the government. However, they were still uncertain about whether these measures would be sufficient to counter the highly trained terrorists. They held internal meetings about whether to open the institutions or wait until the threat has been eliminated with the conclusion of the military operation in South Waziristan.
Punjab Senior Minister Raja Riaz said that the government was closely observing the security situation, and schools and colleges would reopen soon after sufficient security measures had been installed.
He said the Punjab government had taken concrete steps to save the lives and properties of the public and the closure of educational institutions was an in-time strategy adopted in the interest of students and public. Riaz said the nation would soon hear good news regarding the ongoing battle between the terrorists and the Pakistan Army. Daily times
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Efforts on to secure education centres
Lahore: The provincial government and administrations of educational institutions are trying their best to ensure security of students and staff of these establishments which are being considered under serious threat from militants since they hit a varsity in Islamabad on Tuesday, claiming six lives.
The Punjab government on Thursday decided to check all buildings and open places near educational institutions to ensure their security.
The decision was taken at a meeting presided over by Home Secretary Nadeem Hasan Asif, held here to review security arrangements being made for the educational institutions.
The meeting asked police to thoroughly check all buildings and open spaces within and outside the educational institutions and submit clearance reports to the home department after the checking.
Similarly, the Punjab University and Government College University are going to adopt various security measures in the wake of terror threats.
The PU administration has decided to set up three parking lots at the extreme ends of the New Campus near Islamic Centre and IBIT. No vehicle, either of a student or visitor, will be allowed on the campus other than these parking lots.
A shuttle bus service will be started to pick students and visitors from the parking lots and to drop them at their respective departments and hostels and vice versa.
Parents will now pick and drop their children at the main gates of the varsity.
Walkthrough gates and CCTV cameras will be installed on the entry and exit gates and mobile squads will also be present there round the clock. Only gate No 1, 2 and Islamic Centre gate will be used for entry and exit purposes.
Bikes without varsity stickers and vehicles of teachers and employees will also not be allowed entry to the campus. Teachers, students and employees will be asked to keep an eye on their surroundings.
A meeting in this regard was held at PU on Thursday with Vice-Chancellor Kamran Mujahid in the chair.
Similarly, GC University Vice-Chancellor Khalid Aftab also discussed the security arrangements at the varsity with the heads of all administrative and academic departments here on Thursday.
Dr Aftab said the varsity would adopt all necessary measures for the security of its students and staff. He welcomed various suggestions in this regard and ordered their implementation.
Registrar Sahibzada Faisal Khursheed said students would be informed about the opening of the varsity and its hostels through its website and print and electronic media. He said all the scheduled meetings, functions and sports competitions had also been postponed till further orders.
Meanwhile, the PU Institute of Business Administration has extended the deadline for the submission of admission forms for MBA and PGD (evening programme) till Oct 29, while the entry test will be held on 1st Nov, 2009. Dawn
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