The Pakistani authorities are no taking no chances following the suicide bombings at Islamabad’s Islamic University, and all schools are being closed for a week around the country.
Millions of pupils and students from both the private and public sectors will get an extra holiday, although the hope is they will be able to reopen next Monday.
“This step the government has taken to close schools is both good and bad. It’s good because it may help save many lives; it’s bad because the children’s time is being wasted. Some proper steps should be taken to end terrorism,” said one student.
The Interior Minister today recognised his country was in a state of war, and blamed the Taliban in Waziristan for the university attack.
The army’s offensive continues to grind on. Heavy fighting continues around Kotkai, and senior army commanders admitted the rough terrain and heavier resistance meant progress would be slower than first thought.
The first pictures to arrive from the combat zone show little is being spared in the onslaught. The shattered villages and demolished farms may struggle to support life when and if the civilians are allowed to return.