Teachers get gun training after Peshawar massacre

By AFP
Published: January 27, 2015
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A Pakistani Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) police official displays various types of firearms during a weapons training session for school, college and university teachers in Peshawar on January 27, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

A Pakistani Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) police official displays various types of firearms during a weapons training session for school, college and university teachers in Peshawar on January 27, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR: Teachers in Pakistan are being given firearms training and will be allowed to take guns into the classroom in a bid to strengthen security following a Taliban massacre at a school last month.

Heavily armed militants killed 150 people, 132 of them children, in a bloody December 16 attack on an army-run school in Peshawar.

“Carrying firearms for every teacher is not obligatory, but all those who want to carry firearms to schools willingly will be provided with permits,” Atif Khan, provincial education minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told AFP on Tuesday.

Provincial Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani confirmed the decision, adding that the province was unable to provide police guards for all of its government-run education institutions.

“The number of police in the province is not enough to guard 35,000 schools, colleges and universities — that’s why we have allowed teachers to carry firearms,” Ghani told AFP.

Authorities began training teachers in how to use guns last week and the latest batch of female trainees started learning the ropes on Tuesday.

“It’s a two-day course. We are training them on gun handling and also on (the) procedure of using it,” said Mohammad Latif, a trainer at police headquarters in Peshawar.

Security has already been strengthened for schools across the country, including by building elevated boundary walls with steel wire fencing and increasing the number of police. Private schools have been ordered to deploy extra security guards.

Malik Khalid Khan, the president of the Private Schools Teachers Association, opposed the move to arm teachers.

“How is it possible to teach students in a class… holding a gun in one hand and a pen in another?” Khan told AFP.

“It’s not our job, our job is to teach them books. A teacher holding a gun in the class will have very negative affect on his students,” Khan said, adding that the government should hire more police if they are short of numbers.

The government and military promised a tough response to the Peshawar massacre, in which heavily armed militants scaled the school walls before going room-to-room mowing down helpless students and staff.

A six-year moratorium on the death penalty was ended for terror cases after the attack, and parliament voted to set up military courts to try terror offences.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Jan 27, 2015 - 5:43PM

    Where are those people who used to say ‘PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN SWORD’?

    Now we will be having teachers with gun in one hand and pen in other. BRAVO

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  • Ahsan
    Jan 27, 2015 - 6:46PM

    Although it doesn’t seem right may seem absurd to some but we are in a state of war, teachers should be allowed weapons for a specific period of time until circumstances get under control.
    P.S. Taliban should not under estimate our women :)

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  • Omar
    Jan 27, 2015 - 7:25PM

    @Ahsan:
    “P.S. Taliban should not under estimate our women :)”

    You are accusing them of too much. They fight kids only..

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  • Akbar
    Jan 28, 2015 - 1:28PM

    A retarded and illogical decision. Today teachers have guns – tomorrow students will.

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