CHARSADDA: Bacha Khan University (BKU) in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Charsadda district reopened on Monday after a 26-day hiatus owing to security concerns following a terror attack on campus.
On January 20, militants rampaged BKU leaving 21 dead and shattering the sense of security in the troubled northwest, a year after Pakistan’s deadliest extremist attack — a 2014 assault on a school in nearby Peshawar.
The attack had shattered the sense of security growing in the troubled region a year after the APS school massacre, in which more than 150 people – mainly children – were killed.
“I am very happy to announce that the university has been re-opened today but amid very strict security,” the university’s vice chancellor Fazal Rahim Marwat told AFP. He said the university was re-opened with an objective “to defeat the mindset of militants, which was behind the terrorist attack of January 20”.
“After getting security clearance from Charsadda Police it was decided in a meeting of the university’s security review committee to open the institute,” university’s media and public relations officer, Saeed Khan Khalil told The Express Tribune.
“Fool proof security arrangements have been made by the university administration and local police along with women police commando have been deployed to insure the security of its students and faculty members,” he added.
Further, a watch tower has also been constructed while walk through gates have also been installed at the institution to ensure maximum security. “Around 60 per cent of registered students and 20 per cent of hostel boarding students have returned to the university,” Khalil claimed.
The university official went on to say that by resuming the classes a clear message has been given to the terrorists that we will continue our struggle against ignorance and extremism. “Although some APS students and representatives from the civil society visited the university to express solidarity with us but no federal or provincial government representative arrived here,” Khalil lamented.
Further, Khalil said Higher Education Commission had earlier proposed the university should shift to a safer place near the motorway where the university has property. “However, that requires a lot of time and money, and the HEC cannot arrange such a large amount at this time,” he said.
It was decided the university would continue its routine activities at the present campus in Charsadda, and if needed, it will build new departments in the proposed place.