The only high school for girls in Kalinjar Union Council of Haripur district has been deprived of its essential facilities.
However, it remains unclear whether the motive behind depriving the students was material gain or a political rivalry.
Situated in a remote part of Haripur, the three-room school was built in 2007 at a cost of Rs4.7 million to provide quality education to girls in the area.
However, the school was unable to kick-off high school classes, allegedly due to political wrangling among local leaders.
The project was initiated by Faisal Zaman of PML-Q in 2006. However, due to a property dispute, the school was never handed over to the education department.
In 2008, Zaman was defeated by Pir Sabir Shah during the general elections, following which the matter was brushed under the carpet.
Last year, after continuous pressure from Zaman, the school was finally transferred to the education department.
According to local people, Zaman installed nearly a dozen fans, an electric cooler, a water tank, wash basins and other facilities in the school before handing it over to the department.
Even then, classes for high school did not begin, and Shah initiated middle school classes instead.
Accusing Shah of stealing the facilities from the school, local landlord Tamim Abbasi said “it was a conspiracy by the MPA for his own political vendetta and battle for credit.”
According to Abbasi, over 90 girls from the village passed out from middle school last year, but only two of them managed to get admissions for further studies in Haripur.
“People here have rendered great sacrifices for their land but in turn they have been deprived of their most basic rights,” he said.
Pir Sabir Shah was not available for comments. However, one of his supporters denied the notion of creating hindrances in the school’s functioning for any personal or political reasons.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2012.
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