Pakistan Closes Schools (Nov. 09 Newsletter)

The government of Pakistan announced a week-long closure of educational institutions across the country because of a vicious attack on the International Islamic University in Islamabad on October 20, 2009.

Barakat's schools in Attock, Punjab were also forced to close for the same period of time.  The schools opened briefly on October 26 but were closed again almost immediately following a bomb threat in the city.

Schools were reopened again on November 2nd.

The recent series of bombings and suicide attacks in Pakistan have been a matter of concern for all individuals in the country.  Unfortunately, there is very little certainty about when the situation will improve. It is critical that the population continues to turn against extremist groups so that terrorism in Pakistan can eventually become a phenomenon of the past.
 
We spoke with Sumera Sahar, Barakat Pakistan's Country Director, about her thoughts on the current situation in the country. 

Sumera believes that there is a general sense of fear and frustration in Pakistan. However, in Punjab, she notes that the Taliban does not have a strong presence and a majority in the region does not support the the group's ideology and tactics. Without public support, she says, the Taliban will not present a major threat to the area. 

At the same time, there are still very serious security concerns in the region despite government efforts to provide stability.
 
Despite the grim circumstances in Pakistan, Sumera continues to be optimistic about the restoration of peace and a return to normalcy.