Pakistani PM Gilani caught in a school ‘gang war’

January 26th, 2009 - 7:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Jan 26 (IANS) Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has taken umbrage at being drawn into a war of words between a group of parents and a school owner who claims to be above the law because he is the premier’s buddy.Last week, a group of parents lodged a complaint against a “drunken” owner of Frobel’s International School, Saad Ali Khan, but he “is said to have cited his links with the prime minister to stop the Islamabad police from taking action against him”, The News reported Monday.

The parents also claimed Khan had threatened to shoot their children on the school premises.

Khan claims to have come close to Gilani during his five-year term in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail where he was lodged after being convicted for corruption during his tenure as the National Assembly speaker.

On his part, Gilani has denied any links with Khan, saying no one would be allowed to use his name to influence the police for avoiding legal action.

“Even if someone has been staying in jail with me, it does not mean that I am part of such kind of activities,” Gilani told The News, adding that no one from the Prime Minister House made any call to the local administration not to take action against Khan.

The school owner, however, was unfazed and said he would stick to his decision to expel a dozen A-level students for chanting slogans and creating a law and order situation in the school after they protested the alleged “rigging” in elections to a student’s union.

“The reputed school has recently seen clashes among students. As a result, many students were reported injured. One student, Mehmosh Khan, was dragged out of his home and beaten black and blue in front of his mother when the son of a powerful person, along with his 40 friends, went there to settle scores,” the newspaper said.

The unrest in the school started Jan 22 when hundreds of students gathered outside the principal’s office and started shouting when they came to know that a student, Daniyal Ali, who had secured 95 votes, was declared successful against Asad Dil Jan, who had polled 200 votes.

Asad’s supporters wondered how a brilliant student like him, who had received 9 ‘A’s in his O-Level examination, could not get a single from the teachers and the management, who had 50 percent weightage in the overall result.

“As they protested, the principal and the head of examinations behaved rudely with the students and told them to leave the premises,” The News said.

As Asad and his supporters came out of the school premises, some outsiders attacked them with sticks. At this stage, Asad’s father Akbar Jan Marwat called the police to defuse the situation.

“Meanwhile, Saad Ali Khan came to the school with his bodyguards. The children went to him, seeking justice, but he started abusing them and threatened them with expulsion,” the newspaper said.

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