ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan and caretaker Prime Minister Justice (retired) Nasir-ul-Mulk condemned the shocking incident of torching of a dozen schools in Gilgit Baltistan. More than half of them are girls’ schools.
“This is unacceptable and we will ensure security for schools as we are committed to focusing on education, especially girls’ education which is integral to Naya Pakistan,” he said.
Nasir-ul-Mulk said those who were responsible would be held accountable. He has also sought a report about the incident from the concerned authorities.
Condemning the incident, former president Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari demanded immediate arrest of culprits and strict punishment for this shameful and despicable act.
Zardari said that such act was unpardonable and stopping girls from education cannot be tolerated and PPP will resist any such act.
Bilawal said destroying girls’ school with bombs was a sheer act of terrorism.
Twelve schools were attacked overnight by unknown assailants in Diamir district of Gilgit Baltistan region, raising fears of increasing extremism in a relatively peaceful area, officials said Friday.
Officials said no one was hurt in the incidents, in which attackers mainly targeted girls’ schools.
“The miscreants tried to damage around 12 schools in Diamir district. They tried to set fire to some of them and broke windows and doors of some others,” regional home secretary Jawad Akram told media.
Akram said the local government had begun searching for the attackers.
Dildar Ahmed Malik, a senior official in Diamir district, said at least 10 of the burnt schools were for girls.
“The incident took place in a far-flung area. We are investigating it,” he said.
Gilgit Baltistan has been relatively free of the militancy that has plagued some other parts of Pakistan.
The region is home to world’s second highest mountain, K2, and numerous other peaks attracting mountaineers and tourists from around the world.
Like many other under-developed areas of Pakistan, basic education needs in Gilgit Baltistan are being met by private or community organisations, and a large number of primary schools have been set up by non-government organisations.
Education is a pressing issue in Pakistan, where government statistics show that more than 22 million children are out of school — the majority of them girls.