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(Islamabad) – Militant groups in Pakistan’s Balochistan province should immediately stop killing, threatening, and harassing teachers and other educators, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Attacks and bombings by various nationalist, sectarian, and Islamist armed groups have damaged schools and universities, killing and wounding students, and severely harming education in Balochistan.
The 40-page report, “‘Their Future is at Stake’: Attacks on Teachers and Schools in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province,” documents the killing of at least 22 teachers and other education personnel by suspected militants between January 2008 and October 2010. The report – based on interviews with teachers, students, victims’ families and friends, and government officials in Balochistan – describes these attacks and their consequences for the quality of education in the province.
“Militant groups’ grievances against the Pakistani state are no excuse for shooting teachers dead,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, senior South Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “By killing teachers, harming students, and targeting schools, militants only increase Balochistan’s problems and deprive its youth of the benefits of education.”