Pakistan university reopens 25 days after attack

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Islamabad, Feb 15 (IANS) The Bacha Khan University (BKU) in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province reopened on Monday, 25 days after a militant attack on January 20 killed at least 21 students.

Vice-chancellor Fazal Rahim Marwat received students as they entered the campus located in Charsadda town amid tight security, Dawn online reported.

“We are satisfied with the security arrangements at the campus,” Marwat said.

The first day of resumption of academic activities aims to relieve students of the “psychological trauma they underwent”, the vice chancellor said, adding that special lectures would be delivered in this regard.

BKU spokesperson Saeed Khan said security arrangements for studies to resume at varsity are “complete”. However, watchtowers are yet to be installed.

Khan said the watchtowers will be installed at a distance of 100 metres at the campus.

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“We will not be cowered (by terror threats) … we will continue to learn,” said an MSc student.

The varsity administration had decided a week after the attack that academic activities on campus will not commence until provision of adequate security was ensured.

The spokesperson on Friday said the university’s security committee, after a thorough review, cleared the varsity for resumption of academic activities. But students and staff would not use university transport, he said at the time.

Charsadda district police officer Sohail Khan also said security clearance has been given to the BKU, and that eight policemen will be stationed on the university premises and a mobile van will be deployed outside.

Four female university employees would be tasked with keeping an eye on female students, he said.

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