Ever since the horrendous incident at APS Peshawar, almost all schools have been closed and various measures are being discussed and planned to ensure security and safety of the children. Apparently, the emphasis is on preventing a terrorist from entering a school and for that measures like raising of the perimeter walls, armed guards manning gates and various security check points are being talked about. These are good measures but along with them there are other areas which need equally or even more consideration. The top most is, let’s assume that a terrorist or a few of them have managed to break through such security cordons and entered the school. They are armed and carrying explosives, whereas the students and staff are all unarmed. The only way to stop them from killing students and staff or taking them hostages is to eliminate them instantly.
For that we need a few good armed marksmen (civil or military) posted at vantage points, trenches can be dug in the lawns or grounds etc. from where they can counter the attack. Drills for such contingencies must be practiced periodically. Naturally, administering First Aid must also be taught to all and First Aid boxes must be suitably placed all over the school. The school buses, to which a remote time controlled magnetic or an IEDs can easily be attached must also be watched. For this all busses must inspected before moving from each point. In case of detection of an IED strict disembarking drills must also be thoroughly rehearsed. All students and staff must know how to react and what to do. Knowledge is strength and knowledge of what to do, in such a situation, would make our students mentally and psychologically strong. Though we all pray that they may never face a situation to use their skill and prowess.
COL. RIAZ JAFRI (RETD),
Rawalpindi, January 6.

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