The first dharna had proved detrimental for educational institutions in the federal capital, where schools struggled to remain open for almost a month and students suffered the brunt of missed coursework for the rest of the academic year. Dharna 2.0 however, is hoped to create less havoc with the daily routine of the students who will most likely continue business as usual if the conditions allow it. Minister of State for Capital Administration & Development (CADD), Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhary announced yesterday that educational institutions of the city will not be closed due to political activities after a delegation of students from model schools and colleges called on the minister and requested him to keep them open.

Meanwhile, The Private Schools Association has also announced to keep schools open after November 2 if the announced lockdown of the federal capital continues. The decision is a welcome one however, considering the uncertainty of the entire situation, the most important aspect is ensuring the safety of the students and of the schools by the government.

The clashes between the police and the protestors ahead of the lockdown, have already claimed the life of an infant who died allegedly of the poisonous smoke from tear gas shells fired by the local police to disperse the protesters on Murree Road. Conflicting reports suggest that he died because he couldn’t reach to the hospital on time and was already gravely ill. Either way, the death will be seen as the result of this standoff between the government and PTI that failed to provide safe access to commuters.

Ideally, the dharna should be contained within a given space and the political workers should be allowed to protest peacefully so they may not infringe upon the rest of the city. But the oppressive approach of the government is only setting a tone of hostility and inconvenience for the poor residents of the city who look on with apprehension towards the dreaded day of November 2.