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Pakistan must take urgent steps to protect students, teachers: HRW

Published Oct 19, 2012 07:24am


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Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at Human Rights Watch— Photo by Malik Siraj Akbar

ISLAMABAD: The Government of Pakistan needs to take immediate step to protect all those facing risk of attacks including  schools, teachers, students and rights activists, according to a statement issued by the Human Rights Watch on Friday.

The organisation also appealed to Taliban, al Qaeda and it's affiliates to stop attacks targeting children, schools and educationists.

According to the Human Rights Watch, the Pakistan army should also refrain from turning schools into targets by using them as bases.

The statement was based on a collection of reports on 96 school attacks that took place in Pakistan this year alone, where as the United Nations had reported 153 such incidents in 2011.

“Parts of Pakistan are among the most dangerous places in the world to go to school today,” according to Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at Human Rights Watch. “It’s time Pakistani authorities understand that expressions of outrage alone are inadequate and such attacks will only end if they hold abusers accountable.”

The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) attacked Malala Yousafzai, a 15-year-old student and outspoken advocate for children’s right to education, shooting her in the head and neck on October 9, 2012, leaving her in critical condition. The attack received condemnation from across international spectrum and the local political spectrum in Pakistan.

“The unity of global condemnation and the speed of response in the wake of Malala’s shooting were phenomenal, but we need to see the same kind of reaction every time a student or school is attacked,” Hasan said. “The schools that have remained for years as piles of rubble across Pakistan’s north-west bring into question the government’s level of commitment to seeing children return to school in safety.”

“This is more than just the case of the shooting of one brave girl, but a crisis for the entire Pakistani education system,” Hasan said. “It is time Pakistani authorities understood that those who seek to harm students and teachers wish to rob Pakistan of its future.”


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Comments (5) Closed

Asim Gillani Oct 19, 2012 11:42am
I admit what happened with Ms. Malala Yousafzai was completely wrong and unhumanly with any point of view but no one seems to be commenting or talking about the recent drone attack in Orakzai which hit a school and killed 18 students according to some reports, and this is not the first time this has happened during the past several years there have been several Drone Attacks which have targeted either areas near to schools or directly on schools, resulting in the death of a number of childeren. HRW should be concerned about these attacks and media should also take part in investigating the suspected number of fatalities after such attacks which were completely unneccessary and had no part with any Taliban or Al-Qaida Organization.
Cyrus Howell Oct 20, 2012 11:28am
Yes it must.
Ravi Oct 20, 2012 07:01am
You are mixing up two issues here and trying to say that what happened to Malala is like any other violence acts in Pakistan is wrong. In Malala's case isuue is not that a girl is attacked. Sir, the main issue is that some section of people are directly going against islamic teachings by depriving girls right to education which is given to them by holy quran. Every Pakistani including mullahs so called custodians and protectors of Islam should oppose these misguided people who are trying to deprive girls from getting education. There is no comparison of this issue with drone issue which is also wrong, but if civilians are killed they are intelligence errors and are not intentional. But in Malala's case, the attack on her is intentional with the purpose of silencing a person by force for demanding right to education which is morally and religiously a very grave mistake and attack on islamic teachings. AMalala'sMala
malik Oct 19, 2012 10:08pm
To stop drone aatacks, pakistani have to work, pay taxes, so they don,t have to beg for money.
Sohaib Farooq Oct 19, 2012 07:39am
Nice Message, Keep on discussing this matter, but try to do something by your own self. this a matter of time in which we will remember about MALA-LA and forget this matter after few days then another incident or attack will take place we make it a big issue and do anything and just take some measures and say to hearts we make a big roll in the attack or incident, but that would be just making our heart satisfied. I want to say or tell that our land is Madina-e-sani and such attacks are taking place in this land myself roll is also not there. my mistake is there. If practice my self perfect, i say by god everybody will be perfect and in future no such attacks on our sisters will take place.