MIRAMSHAH, May 29: The authorities have reopened Cadet College Razmak, which was closed about two years ago owing to insecurity in North Waziristan Agency.
The prestigious educational institution was closed in June 2009 when security situation worsened in the tribal region and a military offensive was launched. Security forces were stationed in the college building during the operation.
More than 438 students were evacuated in 35 vehicles from North Waziristan after the college was closed but 74 of them along with some staff members were kidnapped near Bakakhel by militants when they were on their way to Bannu.
A 40-member tribal jirga was tasked by political administration to negotiate with militants for the safe recovery of the abducted students and staff members. The kidnapped students were recovered from Makeen.
One of the abducted students recalled the horrific incident, saying he still had concerns about security situation in the region. “I doubted that situation has improved in the past two years,” he said on condition of anonymity.
Another student said that there was no security anywhere in the country. “So it is not surprising if people still have concerns about their security in North Waziristan,” he said. It would be better to return to the college, which had all the required facilities, he said.
“We are cadets. We can study better in an environment where all curricular and extra-curricular activities are ensured,” he said.
More than 400 students, who were shifted to Peshawar, were attending classes in three different rented buildings at different locations. The classes were not regular and it affected their studies, he said, expressing satisfaction over the reopening of the college.
He said that the college administration had asked them whether they were willing to go to the college and majority of them showed willingness.
The cadet college was set up by former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1978.
Meanwhile, security forces in North Waziristan have also removed checkposts from Khajori to Bakakhle area of Bannu.
The locals, who had to go through checking at those points, lauded removal o the checkposts. These repeated checking resulted in prolonging of the one-hour journey between Miramshah and Bannu to three hours most of the times.
Officials said that the decision to reopen cadet college and remove checkposts was taken after improvement in security situation in North Waziristan tribal region.