SWAT: Mingora Police have vacated the Government Primary School in Mulla Baba and have re-opened Makan Bagh road after two years.
The Primary school has been under their control since February 2009, after they moved to the new building following a suicide attack that killed 17 police officers.
The closure of the Makan Bagh Road caused almost 100 shops on the road to lose business, as no traffic was allowed on the road. Most of the shops were forced into closure as a result.
Police vacated the building and opened the road after two years, after the issue was highlighted in the media.
Students were unable to continue with classes or attend school after the police took over the building. Parents complained about the effect this was having on their children’s education but their complaints fell on deaf ears. The opening of the Makan Bagh road will also solve the issue of intense traffic jams in Mingora city.
Fayaz Zafar, a local journalist who played an active role in keeping the issue alive, said, “More than 600 students were left without education, but neither the government not the police department were bothered about the issue.”
For more than a year the police, Zafar said, could not arrange an alternative building for themselves putting the future of the younger generation at risk
“We really suffered a lot, for nearly two years we were not allowed to open our shops, we had started our businesses here but since the police came to the school building, they closed the road and ordered us to close the shops and go somewhere else,” one of the shopkeepers in the area told The Express Tribune.
“For their own safety the law enforcement agencies made us common people hostages, we are thankful to the print media who highlighted the issue again and again forcing the police to open the road,” Akram, who has a shop on the road, said.
The police, however, feels that they did not have a choice in the matter. DPO Swat, Qazi Ghulam Farooq, said, “After the suicide attacks on the Mingora Police Station we had to shift to the school building. We had no choice to but to close the road Makan Bagh for our security.”
Published in The Express Tribune November 7th, 2010.