English Schools to Re-Open in Balochistan

english-school-balochistanPANJGUR — Private schools and English coaching centers in Pakistan’s troubled Balochistan province were told to reopen today after they were closed following threats from an Islamist militant outfit.

Owners of these schools and coaching centers had been told to reopen their institutions on June 23, said Samiullah, the district police officer of Panjgur, a district in the west Balochistan province of Pakistan.

“These centers have been closed from the last one month following threats from a militant outfit which is against co-education and western style education,” he said.

“We believe this militant outfit is fake but we have also made all arrangements to provide full security to these schools and coaching centers with the assistance of the Frontier Corps in Panjgur,” Samiullah said.

The militant outfit called Tanzeem-ul-Islam-ul-Furqan (TIF) warned the English schools and coaching centers of dire consequences if they didn’t close the institutions.

A private school teacher and his family members were also gunned down in the area.

A ban on the girls’ education is not acceptable, said Brigadier Muhammad Amin, the commandant of Frontier Corps, adding that some miscreants had misused the name of religion.

The TIF had also issued threatening pamphlets and distributed them in the area.

Armed men had ransacked English learning centers, manhandled teachers and intimidated students particularly girls to stay away from western education which the group said was haram (forbidden).

Amin said he understood the fears of the school administration, parents and teachers and the tension they suffered for so many days.

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Mir Behram Baloch is a journalist covering government and social issues in Balochistan. Read other articles by Mir.

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