Misguided elements behind schools’ destruction Gillani vows to rebuild girls schools Staff Reporter ISLAMABAD:Photo of a girls school that was destroyed by Shariah Laws inflicted by the Taliban.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, strongly condemning the recent destruction of two dozen of girls schools by the misguided elements in the name of Islam, on Friday vowed to rebuild them to allow education of women to flourish in the country. “I pledge to the people and specially our women that my government will redouble its efforts to banish illiteracy amongst women and empower them through education,” he said in a statement. The premier directed the civil administration to apprehend the miscreants who were responsible for the destruction of the girls schools in Swat. Gillani said that he was determined not to allow the misguided elements to return moderate and tolerant society back into the pre-Islamic days. “We are fully determined to move into the twenty-first century and enable both our men and women to avail of the opportunities it offers,” he said. No society could progress unless its women were educated, empowered and given equal opportunities, he added. The premier said that he has also directed the Education Ministry to launch a national campaign in consultation with the Religious Affairs Ministry to educate masses. Gillani said that as far back as fourteen hundred years ago it was Islam which elevated women to their rightful position, with full rights and privileges under Islamic law. The Holy Quran and Hadith have laid great emphasis on education, especially the education of women, he said. He said that it needs to be recalled and remembered that wife of Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a businesswoman and a trader in her own right. Talking to Louise Arbour, a UN high commissioner for human rights, who called on him at the PM House, Gillani said his government has taken several legislative and administrative measures to protect and promote human rights in the country in the short span since assuming the charge of the government three months ago. The prime minister said his government has also regularised 14000 seminaries out of the 17000 which were now equipped with computers and have regular educational curriculum. He said Pakistan committed to establishing an independent human rights commission consistent with international standards. The premier congratulated Louise Arbour on successfully completing her tenure as the UN high commissioner for human rights. He said the government was committed to resolving the judicial issue and has presented a comprehensive constitutional package to the political parties and the public which aims at making the judiciary independent. He said the government was also trying to build consensus on ending the practice of imprisoning the under-trial persons without proving their cases in the court. Gillani said his government was taking institutional measures to bring about jail reforms with a view to turning jails into reformatories so that prisoners leave the jail as reformed individuals. He said Pakistan would never negotiate with terrorists nor allow them to use its soil to achieve their objectives. Louise Arbour said it was indeed very encouraging to see the leadership given by the prime minister on human rights issues and especially his decision to convert death penalty into life imprisonment, the remission granted to various categories of prisoners and payment of fines for the release of prisoners. She assured the premier that the Human Rights Commission would extend full support to Pakistan’s position on several human rights issues. The meeting was also attended by Rory Mungovern, area coordinator and Cynthia Veliko, a human rights officer. http://tinyurl.com/4bz34k