Aside from some defiant, but apparently empty, words “the minister said the government could not stop destruction of schools when the area people took up arms and wore suicide jackets to torch and bomb their own schools.”
“School burnings in Swat can’t be stopped, says minister,” by Akhtar Amin for the Daily Times, January 27:
PESHAWAR: NWFP Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education Sardar Hussain Babak said on Tuesday that it had become difficult for the government to stop Taliban from torching and bombing girls schools in the restive Swat Valley.
Commenting on destruction of yet another school by Taliban in Odigram, a suburb of Mingora city, on Monday, the minister said the government could not stop destruction of schools when the area people took up arms and wore suicide jackets to torch and bomb their own schools.
He blamed religious parties (JI and JUI-F) for providing moral support to Swat Taliban and ignoring the violence with which they treated innocent people of the valley.
“It is easy for leaders of religious parties to blame the provincial government for deteriorating law and order situation. But one should ask JI Chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed and JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman why they remain silent on terrorist activities of Mullah Fazlullah in Swat district,” Babak said.
He said religious parties were protesting against killings in Gaza while ignoring slaughter of Swati people and destruction of their schools at the hands of Fazlullah.
He rejected a Taliban call for closure of girls schools, saying no one would be allowed to deprive Pakhtun children of their right to education.
Except for the Taliban who, to date, has destroyed some 300 schools.
The minister said militants had called for closure of girls schools in Swat, but the ANP-led provincial government would never surrender to these Taliban…