Pakistan condemns militant attacks on schools

January 20th, 2009 - 7:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Jan 20 (DPA) Pakistani parliament Tuesday condemned militants for destroying scores of schools, most of them for girls, in the restive northwestern Swat district.Information Minister Sherry Rehman submitted the resolution in the lower house of the bicameral parliament following the bombing of five more schools in the conflictive valley over the weekend.

The rebels issued an edict in late December to close hundreds of schools by Jan 15 in their plan to ban girls’ education.

The state-run institutions are already closed for winter vacations, but some private schools were open until they succumbed to the Taliban deadline.

More than 170 schools have been blown up or gutted in Swat since 2007.

Rehman earlier said the government schools would reopen from March 1 after the holidays, and the authorities would ensure security to the students.

However, owners of private schools said educational activities would not resume until the fighting in Swat was over or the militants withdrew their ban.

A militant commander and spokesman, Muslim Khan, recently told a private news channel that the rebels destroyed the schools because soldiers were using them as camps.

The army is battling the supporters of local radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah, who had announced a rebellion in 2007 to impose Taliban-style laws in the district, which used to be a famous tourist destination for its serene settings and trout streams.

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