Akhtar flays Yasin Malik’s allegations that students burn schools

Senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar today strongly condemned the allegations leveled by JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik wherein he has indirectly blamed students for burning the schools in Kashmir. In a statement, Akhtar said that those saying that government decision to hold exams has forced students to torch the educational institutes should go for a self-introspection. He said at many places students have been at the forefront of saving the schools and it is out of question that students would have taken such a reprehensible step.
Akhtar said by conducting the examinations, the government is not trying to invent or impose anything new in the academic arena of the State. “We are only trying to safeguard the career of lakhs of students, whereas separatists with their shutdown calls are trying to destroy their academic career,” he said.
“In reality it is the examination time of leaders like Mohammad Yasin Malik who is now facing questions from the people over the way they are pushing Kashmiris into perpetual economic and academic disempowerment,” said Akhtar. “They started the era of destruction and are now trying to distance themselves from it and finding an escape route,” he said.
Akhtar said that separatists have mounted a tiger and are now trying hard to keep the conflict going. He said that in the initial phase Yasin Malik and others were at the forefront of driving the shutdowns but now they have distanced themselves and thrown the ball solely in the court of Syed Ali Shah Geelani. “Burning of schools is one of the ploys to keep the fire burning,” said Akhtar.
The Education Minister appealed the people from all schools of thought to keep the education conflict-neutral. “Just see Palestine or the recent happenings in Aleppo, Syria. Their schools are never shut even if there is bombings, killings and full-fledged war. They know that education is the key and in no way they can stop education. Compared to that Kashmir is a peaceful region, except for the insecurity caused by the hartal politics being promoted through stone-pelting and intimidation,” said Akhtar. “In Kashmir too we faced unfortunate deaths for which all of us are heartbroken and pained, but for saving the future generation education has to go on.”

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