CHARSADDA: Bacha Khan University reopened Monday, 26 days after the attack took place on January 20.
“My parents were fearful to let me leave our village to stay at the university hostel,” Muhammad Adil, a student of MSc Computer Science, told The Express Tribune on Monday. The hostel was the site of a bloodbath that terrifying day. “But after reaching BKU, I’m ok to be back at the campus with my friends.”
But, he added, they miss their classmates, Ahmad Kamal and Ilyas, who were killed in the attack. “Life must go on and we will not be discouraged by such an attack,” said Adil. “Although the university has over 3,000 students, maybe 400 can be seen around – shows you how scared everyone is.”
Asma, another student, said, “Militants spread terror to stop us from getting an education but we will not be deterred.”
After the university opened, the faculty members prayed for those killed and then the students protested in front of the university to demand security for all educational institutes across K-P.
Talking to The Express Tribune, BKU Public Relations Officer Saeed Khan Khalil said, “It was a day for regrouping, there were no classes – it will take time before the university is fully functional again.” He added, “We have opened the university to give a message that we will continue our struggle against ignorance.” He said around 60% day students and 20% students who live in the hostel attended the first day.
Khalil added the varsity reopened after security clearance from the police in Charsadda. He added local police along with women commandos have been deployed.
Khalil said boundary walls have been raised and barbed wire installed on them. “A watchtower has been constructed and CCTV camera and walkthrough gate installed.”
BKU Vice Chancellor Fazal Raheem Marwat said, “We will arrange appointments with mental health experts for our students and teachers.”
Locals lined the route to the university to welcome students, but no official function was held.
Banners with photos of the deceased students were displayed at the main gate.
Later, Government Spokesperson Mushtaq Ghani, Awami National Party Central General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain and others visited the university. However, Ghani reached late, although the university opened in the morning.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2016.