Bring out the big guns... or not: Political parties concerned over teachers carrying guns

Published: January 23, 2015
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Overturned tables and chairs in a classroom at the Taliban-stricken Army Public School. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD IQBAL/EXPRESS

Overturned tables and chairs in a classroom at the Taliban-stricken Army Public School. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD IQBAL/EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: Political parties have raised serious concerns over the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government’s decision to allow teachers to carry guns while teaching at school.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government had allowed teachers to carry licensed weapons to school in the aftermath of the deadly Army Public School attack in which 150 people were killed.

Lawmakers stated that the province has suffered enough in the war against terror and allowing teachers to carry guns would just make matters worse.

“I don’t know how a child will be able to get educated under the shadow of an AK-47,” said Awami National Party (ANP) Senator Baz Muhammad Khan.

Khan said the provincial government needed to devise a strategy to overcome militancy rather than equipping every citizen with arms and ammunition.

“This will have adverse effects on the minds of the children” Khan stressed.

Former K-P chief minister and Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI) MPA Akram Khan Durrani said the provincial government should have consulted all political parties before taking the decision.

“The government is responsible for the protection and security of its citizens, not the citizens themselves,” Durrani said.

Qaumi Watan Party’s (QWP) Anisa Zeb Tahirkhili said the provincial government should focus on the security of schools and should issue arms licenses to the security guards rather than allowing teachers to carry guns.

On the other hand, former K-P Health Minister Shaukat Yusufzai clarified that the provincial government never allowed teachers to carry guns, adding that their decision was being looked at with a very negative approach.

“Look, the government is not capable of guarding every single citizen by deputing a police constable with him. Yes, if teachers approach us and ask us to issue them license, we will not deny it, but it does not mean we ask them to carry guns,” Yousafzai said.

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