Mardan girls’ college bus attack injures 35 students

Government steps up security

By Ashfaq Yusufzai

2011-03-01

MARDAN – An attack on the Government Girls Degree College Lund Khwar in Mardan District March 1 that injured 35 students is a grim reminder that the Taliban are still in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the adjacent Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

“Our college’s teachers have been receiving threats from militants, but the administration had not taken them seriously. It would scare the majority of the students from attending the college,” Samin Bibi, 18, a 4th- year student, said from the Civil Hospital Lund Khwar.

The students were leaving a party at the college March 1 when their bus was attacked with hand grenades, Bibi, said.

“Two militants riding motorbikes fired shots with pistols in the air and lobbed two hand grenades on the bus in front of the college,” Zamir Khan, a Lund Khwar policeman, said. The attackers then fled the scene, he said.

Most of the wounded are being treated at local hospitals. The most seriously injured student has been sent to Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar.

Lala Baha, principal of the Government Girls Higher Secondary School in Par Hoti, Mardan, received letters from militants in 2008 demanding students wear burqas or the school would be blown up.

“... And now a majority of the 1,000-plus pupils wear veils,” she told Central Asia Online by telephone.

This is the latest in an aggressive campaign by militants against education, especially for girls.

“We have tightened the security around the schools because we know the people will feel fear while sending their children to schools,” police Deputy Inspector General Mardan Abdullah Khan told Central Asia Online. “All 24 police stations in the districts had been instructed to provide security to the educational institutions.”

Soon after the bus attack, administrators closed the college as most of the students were very afraid.

“We have assured the college’s administration (they could remain open and) we would deploy more police,” Khan said.

“We do not want our children to be attacked and demand the government to secure the educational institutions,” said Jafar Khan, whose daughter sustained leg injuries. Jafar said he wanted to educate his children at any cost.

“I am not deterred by such attacks and would go to the college as usual when I leave the hospital. Education is vital for us,” said Zeenat Bibi, a student who received injuries to her right elbow. “Who are the Taliban and what do they want from us?”

KP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain, who visited the injured students at the hospital, assured them that security around their college would be enhanced.

The Taliban oppose women's education and have destroyed hundreds of schools and colleges to deprive women of that prospect. In addition, they have sent written threats to schools and broadcast warnings by radical clerics on FM radio to frighten students and their parents.

“It’s the height of ruthlessness,” Fareeda, a teacher at the college, said by phone. “The trend of discouraging girls from education would hammer the last nail in (the coffin of) the development of women in this male-dominated society. Urgent measures are required.”

The female literacy rate in KP is 30%, and only 3% in FATA, compared to an overall nationwide literacy rate of 54%. According to official reports, female enrolment in schools in the KP is 3.8% and 1.3% in FATA, while only 22% of girls nationwide complete primary schooling.

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Reader Comments

  • so sad

    August 21, 2011 @ 04:08:00AM shera li
  • ITS VERY SAD AND THESE PEOPLE DONT HAVE RIGHT TO BE CALLED A MUSLIM BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT AWARE FROM THE TEACHING OF ISLAM OUR PROPHET PBUH stands up when he received any female so they dont no how to respect and to treat female these were innocent girls and i am asshamed to say that i am Pakistani.

    April 5, 2011 @ 09:04:00AM mir sajid ashraf
  • Why is this all happening? Have you ever given it a thought that why are we scared? Why there is no unity in our ranks? We have broken relations with the older generation. We are unable to present our point of view but others easily dictate us.

    April 4, 2011 @ 10:04:00AM faisal malik
  • This is no good at all. Our youth is not afraid of this. We will fight this.

    April 3, 2011 @ 01:04:00PM NIZAKT
  • Attaking the students and blowing up the educational institutions will further increase the clouds of darkness in the muslim socity and human will commite such a inhuman acts. For God sack get knowledge and stands Pakistan in the line of advanced countries.

    April 3, 2011 @ 12:04:00PM zakir
  • its indeed v sad moment,it is totaly the responsibility of local who v well know their living areas and know them by names and even then allowing these terrorists 2 live in their areas .why don,t they inform militry abt their presence.had they been cooperative in this regard they would,nt hav been facing these problems and attaks on innocent kids and locals..........so i requst locals to cooperate wd army and elimanate the basterds 4m the country,,,

    April 3, 2011 @ 08:04:00AM imran diyal
  • Seriously this is abusing... You people believe that Talibans will try to stop education when our Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) have told us to learn to gain knowledge no matter girl or boy...and let me tell you guys, those who you think are Taliban are not because they all were wiped out by American army but few survived they escaped...and the few fights only against non-Muslims, they can\'t even think of touching girls or hurting their own fellow Muslim brothers... And the so called Taliban are not even Muslims....They are terrorist send by non-Muslims to prove to world that Muslims are terrorist...You simply see why don\'t they attack non-Muslim countries why there own Muslim brothers??? Why???

    April 3, 2011 @ 05:04:00AM A-R Siddiqui
  • It is very bad. Taliban attacks on mosques and school shows their sick mentality. We condemn them wholeheartedly.

    April 3, 2011 @ 03:04:00AM jamil Shah
  • pakistan was her loveing

    April 3, 2011 @ 12:04:00AM rehana
  • Fortunately the real culprit has been arrested by the local police with the help of intelligence departement which seems to b a good progress and a lesson for others in near by future.The attack was an act of terrorism.

    April 2, 2011 @ 12:04:00PM iqbal
  • I am sorry to see all this. this act is definately not act of any muslim. its our governemt and security agencies failure that they are unable to uncover the faces of cruel external agents. i feel sorry for all effecties

    April 2, 2011 @ 09:04:00AM mohammad akbar khan
  • May God make it easy!

    April 2, 2011 @ 05:04:00AM Imran
  • w love u s

    April 2, 2011 @ 12:04:00AM waqar ali
  • i very very hate this verrrrrrrrrrrry baaaaaaaaaaad

    April 1, 2011 @ 12:04:00PM hafiz adnan
  • i extremely condemn it.

    April 1, 2011 @ 07:04:00AM Naveed Rasheed
  • I Like It

    April 1, 2011 @ 04:04:00AM mohsin
  • I LOVE PAKISTAN,WHY DO THIS IN OUR COUNTRY???????

    March 31, 2011 @ 10:03:00PM Aeza sammer
  • postel 26 days ago we are peace loveing people and the extremists want to distrube peace but it is not good to kill inscont.thanks aftab fariyadi

    March 31, 2011 @ 04:03:00PM aftab
  • allah

    March 31, 2011 @ 12:03:00PM habib_jan
  • I am really sorry. Our rulers should adopt some good policies.

    March 31, 2011 @ 11:03:00AM majid
  • well so sad stories i really apologies about this matter

    March 31, 2011 @ 09:03:00AM jalal
  • plz don\'t do that again.

    March 31, 2011 @ 09:03:00AM saleem
  • These are not Taliban, they are jerks. We are 160 million people and it is our duty to crush them.

    March 29, 2011 @ 06:03:00AM changaz khan
  • hi salam to brother and sister may i help to anyone

    March 29, 2011 @ 03:03:00AM tariq rehman
  • Oooops......! These kind of incedents are ruining our country\'s youth.....! Let fight against these extremism by unity

    March 29, 2011 @ 03:03:00AM Khawar
  • May Allah give you patience and remove the infidels from this world. May God keep all sisters and daughters in his protection, Amen!

    March 28, 2011 @ 12:03:00PM umer farooq
  • Pakhtun are killing pakhtuns...in KPK

    March 28, 2011 @ 03:03:00AM Adil
  • This is our village lundkhuwar....very sad! :(

    March 27, 2011 @ 01:03:00PM asim
  • Be friends!

    March 27, 2011 @ 12:03:00PM usaman
  • I\'m very sorry to read this sad news. If there were threats from Taliban,precationary measures must have been taken by the administration and the students could observe veil to avoid these mishaps.

    March 27, 2011 @ 11:03:00AM Ghulam Murtaza Sandhu
  • i m love pak

    March 27, 2011 @ 07:03:00AM yasir
  • I am very sorry to see this and its not done by any muslim its an a devil job Any such pakistani and muslim should not think about these things its an outsider who r coming here and degrade the muslims and give the name of Taliban for these kind of things. Even a single muslim who says the kalma never think about it. May allah forgive the innocent girls and all the muslims. Amin

    March 26, 2011 @ 01:03:00PM Asghar Khattak
  • Shame on you taliban. Its too much

    March 26, 2011 @ 11:03:00AM abdullah
  • This shows the level to which the socalled Taliban have fallen. In Pakhtun society women are never attacked even if their men have decade-long running feuds. Shame on you

    March 26, 2011 @ 07:03:00AM MALIK ALI ABBAS
  • Salam alaikoum- Chaos rules the world! The Islamic world has fallen to rock bottom. It could not be worse. Saudi Arabia is drowning in money and does not help the poor African countries!!!

    March 25, 2011 @ 03:03:00PM Ruslan
  • education is the first obligation of the muslims It is very shame full 4 all of us gashtoro don\'t try this again

    March 25, 2011 @ 09:03:00AM ayaz ahmad
  • THERE ARE VERY BAD AND .................................... I HATE ..........

    March 25, 2011 @ 08:03:00AM vickywaqar91
  • i am really feeling shoked and hurt to see this all . i live in Sialkot Pakistan .i think some people of our socity think that they are the all in all of our socity. education is basic right of any person in pakistan. no one can retain to other on the base of any thing for education .who attacked are the Terriorist who wantt o kidnap our well growing and libral socity .Govt and Army is taking a serious action against them. hope these people soon go to thier end .

    March 25, 2011 @ 03:03:00AM khawaja Mubashar ahmed
  • This is happening in Pakistan because we think differently from each other. We elect such rulers who do nothing for us and only fill their own pockets.

    March 25, 2011 @ 03:03:00AM ali saher
  • it is time that other parts of the country devise plans to eradicate this menace before it come knocking at their doors it is a set back for girls in this province and i pray culprits are guided to the right path

    March 24, 2011 @ 12:03:00PM Mohsinawan
  • It is very terrible but we can't do anything except to pray. May God keep all Muslims under his protection and shelter!

    March 23, 2011 @ 02:03:00PM bangash
  • I am sorry to hear this. How can they call themselves Muslims if they do this kind of violence to women? Such people have no religion and faith. They should be publicly executed. May God punish these cruel people, if God wills!

    March 23, 2011 @ 11:03:00AM shoaib ahmad
  • am very sorry to know this. It shouldn\'t have happened. It is bad to attack the girls as they are innocent and unable to do anything against anyone. The perpetrators of this act should be ashamed of themselves. There should be an increased security of girls\' colleges or university in the former NWFP

    March 23, 2011 @ 12:03:00AM omer
  • it is not good

    March 22, 2011 @ 12:03:00PM imtiaz
  • it is very shamles act from tliban that they attack on inocent girls.these are not a taliban.these are zaliman.

    March 22, 2011 @ 06:03:00AM barkatullah
  • It is very shameful. People who attack the girls are neither Pashton not Taliban. These mean people are enemies of Islam and Pakistan.

    March 22, 2011 @ 06:03:00AM barkat ullh
  • it is time that other parts of the country devise plans to eradicate this menace before it come knocking at their doors it is a set back for girls in this province and i pray culprits are guided to the right path

    March 22, 2011 @ 04:03:00AM javed ali
  • education is the first obligation for the Muslim .it is realy a sad news and against the track record of pattans. Patans have a great respect for weak female community of the society.

    March 21, 2011 @ 11:03:00AM SAJID
  • Acquring of knowledge is same for man and women.Shame that persons which they are involve in this bad activity..

    March 21, 2011 @ 07:03:00AM kashif sohail
  • i love u pakistan

    March 19, 2011 @ 10:03:00AM naseer mardni
  • Shame for the nation as well. How many political leaders openly denounced this incident. May be notr a single one. Instead there were intentional efforts to hide these news. Shame to the Military Mullah Media alliance.

    March 18, 2011 @ 04:03:00PM Mobeen
  • i love pakistan

    March 18, 2011 @ 08:03:00AM usman safder
  • i am very sorry to know this. it shouldn\'t have happened. it bad to attack the grits as they are innocent and unable to do anything against anyone. The perpertrators of ths act should be ashamed of themselves. There should be an increased security of girls\'college or university in the former NWFP where many maniacs live.

    March 18, 2011 @ 05:03:00AM Aliraza
  • its very treble in the town of peace lund khwar, my request to SHO Mr.Shhid to investigate it as soon as possible. the suspected should a symbolizes for others

    March 17, 2011 @ 12:03:00PM irfan
  • why this is do in our pakistan?

    March 17, 2011 @ 11:03:00AM Nasir Khan
  • it is realy a sad news and against the track record of pattans. Patans have a great respect for weak female community of the society.

    March 17, 2011 @ 10:03:00AM Adnan Khan
  • It is very shameful for all of us that two beasts come and do this act with our children. Our zeal is dead now, and still we call ourselves the youth of Khyber.

    March 17, 2011 @ 07:03:00AM SHANSHAH
  • all game ......but its really so bad i disagree with this its injustice islam near teach such things still i must say that behing the scene there is somthing els which we are always unable to see.

    March 17, 2011 @ 02:03:00AM zeeshan alam
  • friendship for girl

    March 17, 2011 @ 02:03:00AM hassan
  • It very deplorable event to have this news socalled Taliban mind thinks as if they are showing themselves nightmare to the innocent girls if they have any kind of an objection education procedure they can convey by talks but such kind of brutality not bearable. Please change your way and embrace the actual theme of islam which is religion of peace and prosperity, May Allah give them right path to preach for Islam. Mukhtiar chandio from Islamabad.

    March 16, 2011 @ 02:03:00PM Mukhtiar Ali Chandio
  • education is the first obligation for the Muslim .

    March 16, 2011 @ 09:03:00AM mahmood
  • my name is khista bacha and me from swat. i say very saidly that our pukhton spacialy kpk pukhton is hunted teririsom . i requested to hoti sahb that plz do some thing for pukhton. thanks

    March 16, 2011 @ 02:03:00AM khista bacha
  • Pashtoons can stop this kind of activity themselves. No outsider will come and tell us. The enemy mostly lies within. Sher, Quetta.

    March 14, 2011 @ 04:03:00PM sher
  • education was the first key element which differentiat the muslim and non mulsims.and now a time those people which is against the educational activities these are easily decleared as non muslim they have no rights to call them selfs as mulsim and followers of sahabas, at short talibans and supporters of taliban are non muslims and they work for the sake of wealth and they are followers of yazeed ibn mawiya, hate taliban and love Pakistan, , long live Pakistan

    March 5, 2011 @ 11:03:00PM sadiq hussain
  • Shamful. Taliban msut abandon their anti-education and anti-women activities. Islam calls for more respect towards women than men.

    March 5, 2011 @ 05:03:00AM shujat ali
  • we are peace loveing people and the extremists want to distrube peace but it is not good to kill inscont .

    March 3, 2011 @ 12:03:00PM muhammad ali
  • This shows the level to which the socalled Taliban have fallen. In Pakhtun society women are never attacked even if their men have decade-long running feuds. Shame on you.

    March 2, 2011 @ 11:03:00AM javid ali
  • in my opinion, these poeple are the enimies of muslim umma. it is a worse situation and totally agsint of islam that you killed women for the purpose to stop the education of female, so sad. the government should need to focussing the protection of girls collage/school becouse we know that it is not possible to clean out all the tarrarist from some red area in very short time. but it is possible that they protect the women from any abustmnet/explaitation. the government should provide security to all the girls school and collages in all the targted red zone area. thanks Rauf Afrid

    March 2, 2011 @ 02:03:00AM Rauf Afridi
  • I am very sorry to know this. It shouldn't have happened. It is bad to attack the girls as they are innocent and unable to do anything against anyone. The perpetrators of this act should be ashamed of themselves. There should be an increased security of girls' colleges or university in the former NWFP where many maniacs live.

    March 1, 2011 @ 10:03:00PM MR KHAN