Islamabad : Over 1,200 private schools remained shut in Pakistan’s northwestern Swat district Tuesday in protest against an attack on a school van on Monday, with the agitators warning of a march to Islamabad if the culprits were not arrested within 24 hours and peace restored. The attack left the van driver dead and two students injured. The latest violence grip ping Swat Valley in recent days revived memories of the horrors seen in the years when the area was controlled by the Pakistani Taliban.
The school van was targeted a day after the 10th anniversary of the shooting of Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai by the Tehreek – e – Taliban Pakistan ( TTP ) in Swat when she was a schoolgirl. Locals blamed the banned TTP for Monday’s attack, but it denied the allegation. Nor has any other group claimed responsibility so far. The protests, which had erupted hours after the attacks on Monday, continued Tuesday with a sit-in on the main road connecting the upper reaches of Swat with the lower, blocking it to traffic. The protesters refused to bury the van driver until their demands were met.