Khyber PakhtoonKhuwa

Peshawar schools to reopen Jan 12 after Taliban attack

PESHAWAR: Schools in the restive northwestern Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will re-open on Monday, an official said, after an extended break following a brutal Taliban assault which killed 150 people, the country’s deadliest-ever attack.

Provincial Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani told AFP that “all the necessary security measures” have been taken for 35,000 educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities to re-open on January 12.

The government had announced a winter vacation due to security threats after the deadly attack on the military-run school in Peshawar killed 150 people, including 134 children.

Ghani also said the authorities would build walls around government-run education institutions which would extend at least eight feet (2.4 metres) high, and would also introduce community policing systems whereby civilians with experience operating weapons would be trained and paid to guard educational facilities.

Private sector schools, colleges and universities have meanwhile been issued with strict guidelines with requirements including having guards, Ghani said, adding that schools’ licenses could be revoked if they did not follow the rules.

In response to the Taliban attack, Pakistan’s parliament last week passed a constitutional amendment approving the establishment of military courts to hear terrorism-related cases.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also lifted the country’s six-year-old moratorium on the use of the death penalty, reinstating it for terror cases in the wake of the slaughter at the school.  – AFP

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