Late Thursday night, unidentified assailants burned down a dozen schools in Diamer district, Gilgit Baltistan in Pakistan.
Upon investigation, it was found that the schools attacked were all girls’ schools.
When the entire district was asleep, unidentified men set fire to schools across Diamer and consequently also damaged the school property. Sources from the Chilas Police Station Control Room told Journal Post that the investigation to find the assailants is currently being carried out and FIR has been filed. However, SP Ajmal added that no one has claimed responsibility for the incidents as yet but the Chief Minister GB Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman has taken notice of the attacks and summoned a report from the Baltistan commissioner.
Local police also reported that books, stationery and some reference copies were thrown outside the schools and set alight. Fortunately, no casualties have been reported so far, since most of the schools that were attacked were under construction, while others were closed on account of summer break.
The schools, which are spread across Diamer, were identified as:
- Girls Primary School located in Ronay, Chilas
- Girls School Takya
- Social Action Programme (SAP) Primary School in Hudur area
- Army Public School, Darel Tehsil
- Primary School in Tabor village of Darel Valley,
- SAP Primary School in Tabor, Darel
- APS in Tangir Valley (adjacent to Diamer, sharing borders with Kohistan district of KP)
- Girls Primary School Sheegay Manikal, Darel Valley
- Girls Primary School Galee Bala, Tangir Valley
- Primary School Galee Bala, Tangir Valley
- Girls Primary School Khanbary
- Girls Primary School Gyal Village
The Diamer Youth Movement along with the local residents called for a district-wide protest against the targeting of education institutions. Later in the day, locals held a protest rally in Chilas against the torching of schools and demanded that the police arrest the culprits immediately. They raised the slogans of “Pak Armyzindabad!” [Long live Pak Army!] and “Dehshatgard murdabad!” [Death to terrorists!].
UNICEF Pakistan wholly condemned the incident and lauded the government’s notice of the incident.
Among political officials, PTI Chairman Imran Khan has condemned the attack on schools and promised that his party will implement its agenda to ensure the provision of quality education across the country.