DIAMER - The militant reaction to the police action in Gilgit-Baltistan following the school attacks has revealed that the scenic area is not as peaceful and secure as was believed earlier.

Unknown assailants fired at the vehicle of district and sessions judge Malik Inayat in Daryal area of Diamer on Sunday. Luckily, the judge and his family members remained unhurt in the attack.

The family were headed to the funeral of police official Arif Hussain, who was martyred in a clash with armed suspects a day earlier in Chillas.

Another policeman was wounded while an armed suspect was killed and another arrested by the police during the clash that came during a search operation launched to hunt down those involved in the torching and blowing out of at least a dozen schools near Chillas on Thursday night.

GB Police, which has arrested 31 suspects in raids, claimed on Sunday that school attackers were trained in Afghanistan.

All this shows that the concern expressed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar that the schools attacks are part of a conspiracy against the construction of new dams is not groundless.

Even if the attacks in GB are not aimed at preventing the construction of Diamer-Basha Dam – one of the two dams that the country is to build on priority—, they present a big security challenge in an area which attacks thousands of tourists each year.

GB Inspector General Sanaullah Abbasi said on Sunday that the armed suspect killed in Tangir area during Saturday’s search operation was identified as Shafiq. “We will eliminate terrorism from the area,” he vowed.

“A suicide jacket, hand grenade and arms and ammunition were found at suspect Shafiq’s house,” said DIG Diamer Division Gohar Nafees. “Search operations in the area will continue till the elimination of terrorism,” the DIG asserted.

Gilgit-Baltistan police is continuing raids and more arrests are expected over the attacks on schools in Chilas, about 130 kilometres from GB.

CJP Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of the school attacks on Saturday and directed the interior secretary and the secretary for Kashmir Affairs and GB to submit reports within the next two days.

Interim Prime Minister Justice (r) Nasirul Mulk has also strongly condemned the incident and directed to bring the perpetrators to justice. The premier also sought report of the incident from authorities concerned.

GB chief minister also ordered the chief secretary to ensure the schools destroyed in the incident are restored to working condition in the next 15 days.

According to local government spokesperson Faizullah Faraq, the restoration work will begin soon and the schools will re-open in the last week of August.

Unicef condemns attacks on schools

The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) Saturday joined the Pakistan government in strongly condemning the ransacking and torching of schools.

In a press statement issued by Unicef, it said the agency firmly believes that education is a fundamental right of every girl and boy, everywhere. Attacks on schools rob children of their basic right to education and have a devastating impact on their lives.

It said Unicef appreciates that the government of Pakistan has taken notice and has initiated measures to tighten security at educational institutions.

Malala’s condemnation

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has also condemned the torching of girls schools in Diamer and called for their rebuilding.

According to Daily Mail, Malala, who was shot and injured by the Taliban in 2012 for promoting girls’ education, expressed her anger over the latest attack in a tweet, saying “extremists have shown what frightens them most — a girl with a book.”

She added: “We must rebuild these schools immediately, get the students back into their classrooms and show the world that every girl and boy has the right to learn.”

 

 

Judge, family survive attack