Terror-struck Pakistan university reopens

Monday, Feb 15, 2016,14:16 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Peshawar | Amidst tight security, Pakistan’s prestigious Bacha Khan University reopened today, nearly a month after Taliban militants stormed the varsity in the country’s restive northwest and killed 21 people, mostly students. Vice-chancellor Fazal Rahim Marwat welcomed students in the university campus in Charsadda town which is located about 50 kilometres from Peshawar. Enough measures were in place to foil any further attack. We are satisfied with the security arrangements at the campus, Marwat said.

Bacha Khan University (BKU) has planned special lecturers to relieve the students of the psychological trauma and start their normal studies, he said. Security clearance has been given to the BKU and that eight policemen will be stationed on the university premises and a mobile van will be deployed outside. Four female university employees would be tasked with keeping an eye on female students, Charsadda district police officer Sohail Khan said.

The threat to the educational institution is not over yet. Not only the BKU but institutions are at threat but it does not mean to close everything forever, he said. He said police and army were tackling militancy directly and smashing their networks and arresting facilitators. Earlier, on January 25, BKU briefly reopened before closing down indefinitely. On January 20, four heavily-armed terrorists attacked BKU named after the iconic Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in the volatile Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Authorities have arrested four facilitators who helped the attackers enter Pakistan and took them to Mardan city. They had entered Pakistan from Afghanistan via the Torkhum border. However, the main facilitator, terrorist A, who received and made arrangements for the attackers at Torkhum border checkpost is still at large.

Officials claimed that the attack on BKU was planned and controlled from Afghanistan as the phone call of commander Omer Mansoor, who later claimed responsibility, was made from Afghanistan. The BKU assault came about an year after terrorists attacked an army-run school in Peshawar that killed nearly 150 people, most of them students. The Pakistani military intensified an ongoing offensive, named operation Zarb-e-Azb, against extremists in the tribal areas after the 2014 attack.

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