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Govt-run education institutes closedown in Pakistan Punjab

Pakistani girls at school in Mingora, Swat valley. Malala Yousafzai has inspired other girlsISLAMABAD: Amidst Taliban threats, over 230 educational institutions, most of them government-run, in Pakistan’s Punjab province have been shut, with authorities asking them to step up security by Sunday or face action, reports Press Trust of India (PTI).

The institutions, 138 of them run by government, in Punjab’s Rawalpindi division have been asked by authorities to boost their security.

As many as 53 educational institutions in the region, including Rawalpindi Medical College, were on Thursday served final notices to improve security by Sunday, or the head of the institution would be booked, local daily Dawn reported.

In Jhelum, 15 educational institutions, including 10 government and five private schools were sealed. Chakwal saw four schools sealed and three others were given warnings.

In Attock, police and intelligence agencies carried out a fresh survey of security at educational institutions and found 205 schools and colleges, including 127 government and 78 private institutions, lacked adequate security measures.

After Punjab government ordered educational institutions across the province to shut down for five days, their administrations were asked to ensure that their buildings were safe and complied to the standard operating procedures.

The provincial home department has ordered divisional police chiefs to increase security around educational institutions in the wake of intelligence reports that terrorists may be planning to target them.

Taliban militants have threatened to target Pakistan’s educational institutions and security measures were taken to tackle the threat after the attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Jan 20 that killed 21 people, mostly students.

The attack revived memories of the horrific December 2014 Taliban attack on an army-run school in the nearby city of Peshawar that killed 150 people, 144 of them children. – From Bernama

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