PESHAWAR, Nov 21: All private educational institutions in the provincial capital will remain closed for four days for security reasons.

The decision to close private schools and colleges was taken for the security of students, Khwaja Yawar Naseer, the president of Private Educational Institutions Management Association, told Dawn. “Many roads are blocked, particularly in the interior city, causing difficulties in the mobility of schools vans,” he added.

Mr Naseer said that the city usually remained tense during the first 10 days of Muharram owing to deployment of police near worship places. “The association decided to close educational institutions to save the lives of children in case of untoward incident,” he added.

However, the state-run educational institutions will remain closed only for two days -- on 9th and 10th of Muharram. “It is a decision of the association and not of the government. The government was not informed prior to taking of this decision,” Mr Naseer said. He added that private schools in Hayatabad, where roads were not blocked, and rural areas would remain closed for three days from Friday.

The arrest of a would-be suicide bomber and his handler on Tuesday spread panic among Peshawarites, particularly among the parents of school going children.

Several parents told Dawn that they were happy with the decision about closure of private educational institutions. They deemed presence of police near schools a threat as they thought that the law enforcers could be attacked anytime.

Elementary and Secondary Education Department Director Rafiq Khattak, when contacted, said that in the present situation, a decision about closure of government educational institutions would be taken by the district administration.

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