GILGIT, March 10: A politician of Diamer said here on Wednesday that an overwhelming majority of people in his district was in favour of education of women and recent attacks on girls' schools were part of a conspiracy aimed at not only denying the women of the region their basic right to get education but also to deprive the district of foreign donations and loans.

Bashir Ahmed Khan also said that the campaign against girls' education was part of the agenda of a few narrow-minded religious elements. A local JUI leader, Maulana Attaullah Shahab, said: "The attacks on SAP schools in Diamer are part of a plot to defame ulema in particular and the people of Diamer in general as there is no restriction in Islam on girls' education."

At least 10 schools including two girls' schools were bombed or burnt down in Darel, Thore and Chilas areas of Diamer district by extremists in the first week of February.

The statements came in response to media reports that reopening girls' schools in the district had become difficult because of the attacks and fresh threats issued by extremist elements to teachers and students. However, an official of the Northern Areas education department said that the SAP schools in Diamer were running as usual and denied any fresh threats.

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