QUETTA: All private schools in Turbat and Panjgur suspended their activities after receiving threats from an extremist group.
Official sources said that Islam Al-Quran had sent pamphlets to private schools a few weeks ago, asking them to stop co-education with immediate effect.
“The group had hurled threats about three weeks ago and after that some private schools were attacked by unknown people,” the sources said.
They said a vehicle of a private school was intercepted by armed men in the Khudabadan area of Panjgur the other day and after alighting the children and teachers they set it on fire.
Haji Islam Baloch, a member of the Balochistan Assembly, has confirmed closure of private schools in Panjgur and Turbat and said the extremist group had been threatening private schools in Makran division to stop educational activities or face dire consequences.
Mr Baloch, who belongs to the ruling National Party, said that some teachers had moved to other areas after being threatened.
The MPA raised the issue in the Balochistan Assembly on Thursday and said that such incidents were “destroying education” in Makran division.
“It is a big cruelty with Balochistan where the education sector is already in a pathetic condition,” he said.
The Adviser to the Chief Minister on Education, Sardar Raza Mohammad Bareach, assured the house that the government would take all steps to restore educational activities in private schools in Makran division.
“Such extremist groups will not be allowed to stop educational activities in Makran,” he told Dawn.
Not only in Makran but also in other parts of the country these groups were hurling such threats, he said.
Our Correspondent adds from Gwadar: Protest rallies against threats to private schools continued in Panjgur on Thursday.
Thousands of people marched on the roads, chanting slogans against the extremist organisation. They also staged a sit-in in front of the deputy commissioner’s office.
Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2014