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    Sunday, 5 August 2018

    Another Diamer girls school torched by anti-Dam forces

    As police have ramped up operation against militants behind attacks on educational institutions another girls school was burnt down in Diamer district of Gilgit Baltistan on Sunday.South Punjab News reported

    According to the police sources, in an exchange of fire between the security personnel and armed men, a suspected militant was killed. The suspect was said to be behind the killing of a policeman during a raid on a house in Tanger tehsil of Diamer.

    One police constable was martyred while another injured when the unidentified persons opened fire on the police party conducting raids for arrest of the culprits in Tanger area early this morning, sources added.

    18 suspects behind the attacks on schools have been arrested during raids in different parts of the district with six FIRs registered at different police stations.

    In the latest attack, a government girls’ school in Darel tehsil of Diamer was torched by the militants who are opposed to girls’ education.

    Law enforcement agencies (LEAs) claimed to have identified one of the 36 suspected militants arrested for their alleged involvement in the burning down of schools in Diamer District of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B).
    According to sources, two suspects and a police constable were killed in the shootout between the ‘militants’ and security officials during the Saturday morning’s operation in Tangir area. One of the suspect has been identified as Shafiqur Rehman aka Commander Shafiq.
    A suicide jacket, grenades and weapons have been recovered from the militant hideouts during the on-going search operation.
    The operation came after unidentified attackers believed to be militants opposed to girls’ education bombed and torched a dozen schools, including an Army Public School, in various parts of Diamer district on August 2, triggering road protests and blockade of the Karakoram Highway. Most of the schools were all-girls while at least one of the institutions had been attacked at least five times in recent years.

    IG G-B Sanaullah Abbasi told media that the accused were local people but trained in Afghanistan. He added that the counter-operation was centred around Darail village in Diamer. An official privy to details had revealed that the ‘militants’ were part of a wider nexus associated with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
    Educational institutes across the country have frequently come under attack by the militants. Earlier this year, an under-construction school was razed to the ground in Khyber District when bombs planted by militants exploded near it.
    An official of the political administration in the ex-Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) told South Punjab News that the school, located in Sawa area of the Tirah Valley of Bara Sub-division, was being built keeping in view the repatriation of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

    Yesterday, Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took suo moto notice of the incident and asked to file reports from the GB home secretary and Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Secretary on this matter.

    Caretaker Prime Minister retired Justice Nasirul Mulk also took notice of the attacks on educational institutions and ordered strict action under the law against the elements involved in the torching of schools in Chilas, Gilgit-Baltistan.

    Talking to Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman via telephone, he strongly condemned the incident. He said burning of schools is not acceptable at all.

    The schools that were burnt down include Girls Primary School located in Ronay, Chilas; Girls School Takya; Social Action Programme (SAP) Primary School in Hudur area; Primary School in Tabor village of Darel Valley; SAP Primary School in Tabor, Darel; Girls Primary School Sheegay Manikal, Darel Valley; Girls Primary School Galee Bala, Tangir Valley; Primary School Galee Bala, Tangir Valley; Girls Primary School Khanbary; Girls Primary School Gyal Village.

    Gilgit-Baltistan has been relatively free of the militant violence as compared to the other parts of Pakistan. Basic education needs in GB are being met by private or community organisations, and a large number of primary schools have been set up by non-government organisations.
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