Education emergency: In a first, private school comes under attack in Turbat

Published: September 3, 2014
Armed men torch building, set textbooks alight; warn against ‘Western’ education. STOCK IMAGE

Armed men torch building, set textbooks alight; warn against ‘Western’ education. STOCK IMAGE


Armed men torched a private school in the Dasht area of Turbat, a western district of Balochistan, late Monday night. The men also set an estimated 150 textbooks on fire before escaping. This is the first-ever attack on a private school in Turbat. Earlier, schools had been targeted in Panjgur.

A group calling itself ‘Al Jihad’ claimed responsibility for the attack. The group distributed pamphlets with warnings that private schools should “stop imparting Western education, particularly in English” to children in the school after the attack. The group claimed the attack was part of a ‘holy war’ against Western-style education.

“The armed men barged into Gurbam private school after 10pm on Monday. They set fire to the principal’s office and burnt textbooks, five computers, three chairs and school records,” a senior official at Turbat Levies station said. Gurbam is a co-educational school and offers classes taught in English during the evening to more than 400 students.

“There should only be religious education in this school and no one should dare to impart education in English,” the pamphlet states.

Turbat Levies said a case has not been registered yet but Levies personnel are investigating the incident. “There have been no such attacks in hundreds of years here,” said a Levies official.

Many students have migrated from Panjgur and Turbat to Quetta or Karachi after an increasing number of attacks on schools and colleges here. Many suspect the attacks are carried out by groups from outside the area. Schools in Panjgur opened last month after remaining closed for three months due to attacks.

According to local residents, religious wall chalking in Turbat had increased over the past few weeks and the armed group was specifically targeting private schools and English language centres in the area.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2014.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • usman786
    Sep 3, 2014 - 9:16AM

    Is it army or sardars interest not to educate balochs. Make case against those countries who are supporting rebal sardars by giving refuge thus destroying education – fundamental right


  • Kolsat
    Sep 3, 2014 - 9:22AM

    People who burn schools and books are the people who will welcome IS with open arms. What will then happen to Muslim women? More slavery and genital mutilation, I suppose. What will happen to children? Girls will not be allowed out of house unless accompanied by adult males and boys will be taught Koran thus making them irrelevant to this modern world. Great for Islam eh?


  • kulwant singh
    Sep 3, 2014 - 11:39AM

    Will any one let me know whether Islam oppose education especially women education and if no than why these maroons are burning schools and books.


  • anwar
    Sep 3, 2014 - 11:55AM

    this is the real issue of our country that should be discussed in media, government circles, in the parliment and in public debates. education and books are collective representation of human intellect. burning or burrying such books that are not according to our wishes and thoughts is dreadful


  • sharabi
    Sep 3, 2014 - 2:57PM

    @kulwant singh
    Because they are not so much Intelligent as you are


  • Ali-Dubai
    Sep 3, 2014 - 3:09PM

    Save Democracy forget about Education & the rest of basic necessities…PML-N


  • Sep 3, 2014 - 5:01PM

    800 years ago the Nalanda university was also set alight by the invading army when they found out that there was no Koran in the library. The library apparently burnt for days. Now after 800 years, the university has reopened. For those who believe this is a recent phenomenon, or it is not a true interpretation of Islam – this practice of destroying any vestige of so-called Kufr practices has been there since the inception of the religion -honest introspection of the texts that fan these sentiments would be the order of the day – not dismissing these vandals as misinterpreters of true Islam.


  • Moiz Omar
    Sep 3, 2014 - 8:45PM

    Schools should be provided security.Recommend

  • Schabboo Khan
    Sep 3, 2014 - 9:22PM

    Nice try at Islam bashing.

    I did a quick search on this university and discovered that it was indeed an important center of learning for Buddhism.

    It was destroyed 3 times, the first time by the Chinese, the second time by the Hindus and the third time by the Muslims.

    Do you have any insights on the beliefs of the other two destroyers of this university?


  • Ali Baloch
    Sep 9, 2014 - 2:31PM

    @usman786: Is it in the interest of the Army that has always used these clandestine organizations to conquer “khurasan” or the “rebel” Sardars who enjoy astounding support by the educated people of Balochistan as opposed to the uneducated or semi educated tribal fok of North and Central Balochistan?


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