PESHAWAR: In the wake of the attack on the Agriculture Training Institute in Peshawar which left nine people — including students dead and 32 injured, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Higher Education Department has told the administrations of universities located in the University of Peshawar campus to take tangible steps for enhancing security.
In view of the December 1 incident, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Higher Education Department (HED) had urged the University of Peshawar Campus to call a meeting of vice chancellors from all universities with officers concerned to come up with a solution to the security issue.
A meeting in this regards was held between officials of the HED and campus universities’ registrars last week at the HED office in Peshawar. The meeting was chaired by K-P HED Secretary Syed Zafar Ali Shah while other participants included Colleges Deputy Secretary Nasir Khan, Higher Education Director Dr Subhanullah Shah, Chief Planning Officer Muhammad Zaman, along with registrars of the University of Peshawar, UET Peshawar, Islamia College University Peshawar and the University of Agriculture Peshawar.
Speaking to The Express Tribune an education official, who did not wish to be named since he was not authorised to speak to the media, said that the forum discussed the security issues in the province, especially at educational institutions. Each also presented their viewpoints and gave suggestions on improving security.
He said that some officials from the varsities voiced concern over meagre funds for security. They sought support from the HED in purchasing weapons and providing training to their privately contracted security officers.
The meeting also deliberated on a plan to close off all routes leading to and from the universities except for one or two for the entrance of vehicles and pedestrians to control who has access to the facilities.
He shared that one member suggested closing off the entrance to the varsity from Palosai side of the campus. Moreover, the member suggested reserving the Khyber Medical College ground for parking of vehicles.
The member also suggested starting a shuttle service from the ground to different departments and campuses at the university. However, some the officials opposed these suggestions noting that the varsities should be kept open and not turned it into prisons for students.
They suggested increasing the number of security personnel at the campus and giving them proper training.
The HED Secretary directed university officials to call a meeting of campus universities administrations, including those of the University of Peshawar, Islamia College University Peshawar, Khyber Medical College, University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar and Agricultural University to discuss the issue and search for a solution.
University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar Registrar Dr Kheizar Azam confirmed the meeting to The Express Tribune and said that soon they would call a meeting of all senior officials of the universities to discuss
Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2017.