Further divisions: Teachers to be posted to ‘areas of their sect’

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Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Atif Khan informed the provincial assembly on Tuesday that the government was trying to adjust teachers of different religious sects to their respective areas in Hangu district due to threats posed to their lives. He said teachers of one sect were facing problems in going to areas of the other sect.

Atif was responding to a point of order raised by the MPA from Hangu, Shah Faisal, about the law and order situation in his district. Faisal said the district administration has failed to prevent target killings and control law and order. He said the killers of his brother and MPA Farid Khan were moving about openly in Hangu Bazaar. Teachers in the district were also being targeted and two had been killed on Tuesday, he added.

At the start of the two-hour session, opposition members sharply reacted to the killing of an Awami National Party (ANP) activist, Anwarul Haq, in Kohati area of Peshawar on Tuesday. ANP parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak raised the issue on a point of order, strongly condemning the killing.

Babak termed the negotiation process between the Taliban and the government as a ‘minus-ANP’ process and regretted official apathy over his party member’s killing. He said law enforcement agencies should simply announce their failure to control law and order. If state agencies cannot stop the killing of his party members, Babak said, it meant they were also involved. He warned that people may be forced to take the law in their own hands if such murders continue. He said not even the Chief Minister House, inspector general’s house or military installations will remain safe.

Qaumi Watan Party parliamentary leader Sikandar Khan Sherpao termed the killings a conspiracy against political workers and parties, since they are repeatedly being targeted. He demanded the government provide security to political workers.

Opposition leader Lutfur Rehman also condemned the incident and said his party has been stressing to hold talks with militants instead of the Taliban. Rehman pressed law enforcement agencies to get their hands on terrorists and extortionists.

K-P Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser first asked sacked minister Shaukat Yousafzai to respond to opposition members about the security situation. However, when he stood up, opposition lawmakers objected, asking in what capacity he was responding to them. Atif Khan then began to explain the government’s stance, saying the government will provide security to lawmakers who are facing real threats. However, he condemned parts of Babak’s speech where he had spoken about the Chief Minister House and other agencies. Opposition members took exception to this statement and staged a walkout. They were later brought back to the house by Minister for Auqaf Habibur Rehman and Minister for Higher Education Mushtaq Ghani.

The session was in progress till the filing of this report.

Source : The Express Tribune