By: MOHAMMAD ASGHAR
RAWALPINDI: Security was tightened around the Federal Government Girls High School, R.A. Bazaar, after a threatening letter sent by the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) warned that the institution should be closed otherwise it would be blown up.
The one-page handwritten letter was found on the premises of the building by the school staff some time between October 10 and 11.
Sources in the police said the letter contained some sayings about the respect and status of women in Islam and then addressed the administration of the school.
“It is a message from Ameer Sahib Abdul Wali of TTP Mohmand Agency that the girls’ school should be closed. Thank God, we have been successful in every bomb attack and will be successful in future too. And we can carry out bomb attacks anytime…”
The sources said after the threatening letter, police presence had been enhanced around the building during school timings.
The chief executive of the cantonment board was also sent a letter to remove vendors and other encroachments around the school building located at Chungi No 22.
All educational institutions in the city remained closed for about a week till October 20 for the Eidul Azha holidays.
When contacted, a senior police officer confirmed that a letter had been found by the F.G. school staff before Eidul Azha.
“Apparently, the letter written by TTP Mohmand Agency was thrown into the school compound and later found by the school staff,” the police sources said.
The police officer, who requested anonymity, was reluctant to give details about the contents of the letter.
He said the station commander and the chief executive of the cantonment board visited the school to inspect the security measures.
When asked about the authenticity of the letter, the police officer said it was yet to be determined.
However under the present situation, the letter could not be taken lightly. Security around the school has been enhanced for the safety of the students, he added.
It may be recalled that on October 20, 2008, three simultaneous bomb threats to three schools in the garrison city forced the evacuation of hundreds of students.
The first call was made to the administration of Faizul Islam High School at Raja Bazaar and the second to the F.G. High School Sarwar Road. However, both the calls turned out to be a hoax.
The third bomb threat call was received by the management of the Punjab College in Commercial Market, Satellite Town.
No explosive device was found on the premises of the school building by the bomb disposal experts.
On October 17, 2008, the Federal Government High School on Abid Majeed Road was evacuated after a caller threatened the school administration that a bomb had been planted in the building.
The police traced the caller who turned out to be a class- 10 student of a school in Lalazar.
A senior police officer associated with intelligence added: “In the past, there had been no such threat to close any educational institution. However, some boy schools had received telephonic threats.”
Meanwhile, the law enforcement agencies have been directed to beef up security around the residences of American nationals, restaurants and hotels being operated by foreign nationals as the TTP have planned to target them, sources in the law enforcement agencies said.