Four Girls’ Schools Targeted in Pakistan in May

Amid education emergency, girls’ schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan are frequently coming under attack again.

Four Girls’ Schools Targeted in Pakistan in May
Source: Dawn

Despite an education emergency in Pakistan, the government has been unable to protect girls' schools from violent attacks. Four girls' schools in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, have been attacked within May. The attacks have caused significant damage. Three of the targeted schools were in KP and one in Balochistan. In KP, hundreds of girls' schools were blown up by militants during the peak of the "war against terror". Here are the details of the attacks on the four schools:

1. Girls' Middle School, Surab, Balochistan
On May 29, 2024, unknown armed men set fire to a middle school for girls in Killi Dhamb tehsil, Surab district, Balochistan. The attackers gutted the staff room and damaged other parts of the building. With no night guard on duty, the perpetrators escaped before police arrived. The authorities have registered a terrorism case against miscreants. The name of the school has not been identified yet. 

2. Golden Arrows Girls Middle School, Razmak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
On May 28, 2024, five masked men set the Golden Arrow Girls Middle School in Shakhimar village of Razmak tehsil in North Waziristan, on fire. The blaze destroyed furniture, equipment, and other facilities. Faridullah, a former teacher previously banned from the school, was arrested for his alleged involvement in the arson attack. This school also faced sabotage in March when its solar power system was destroyed.

3. Afia Islamic Girls Public School, Shewa, KP
Militants planted explosives in the Afia Islamic Girls Public School in Drozanda tehsil, Shewa, North Waziristan, on May 9, 2024, causing significant damage. No casualties were reported. The school, the only functioning girls' school in the area, was rebuilt and reopened on May 20, 2024, by order of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The Ministry of Federal Education praised the community's resilience and reaffirmed its commitment to girls' education.

4. Under-Construction Girls' School, Lower South Waziristan, KP
On May 17, 2024, unidentified terrorists bombed an under-construction private girls' school in Lower South Waziristan district, KP. 

Earlier, UNICEF condemned the attack on the school in North Waziristan, stating, "While Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif declared an education emergency, pledging to enroll 26 million out-of-school children, the destruction of this girls' school in a remote area is a heinous crime detrimental to national progress."