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Mock drills following APS and Charsadda massacres: What have we learnt?

The concept of mock security drills by LEAs in educational institutions and usage of  crackers,threat letters as a tactic to get permission to sit in exams and to get a day off from study by students wasn’t common before Army Public School Peshawar and Bacha Khan University Charsadda massacres.

On last Friday panic emerged in the mega city due to back-to-back cracker attacks on a police station, a college and a private school. Let’s talk about the attack on the school: initial investigation of police revealed that school never came under cracker attack but it was the mischievous act of five of the students of same schools who were fee defaulters and were not allowed to sit in the exams following the rules of management. Police got this break through with the help of CCTV recording, this wasn’t an unprecedented stunt by the students. Another incident had occurred in which a couple of students had thrown threat letters into their institute to get a day off from studying.

The average age of a matric student varies between 15 to 17 years, and this is an age during which a student is growing up but requires psychological training that these kind of stunts should not be done as these not only create panic, fear but also waste the time of LEAs who are busy in counter terrorism operations to protect us, and these also causes shame to parents. Again the fake news of a bomb in Karachi University during the book fair obtained media attention yet later denial came from the university spokesperson. I feel sorry that we might not have learnt nothing from the APS attack.

H.E.A.T(hostile environment awareness training) is one of the training programs, which is being conducted by S.S.U special security unit of Sindh Police in educational institutions. The first one was in University of Karachi where students remained busy in making videos from cellular phones during mock battle session between armed militants and S.S.U trained commandos inside the Arts Auditorium of the university. Another tableau was seen in Jinnah University where similar activities were observed which again showed lack of interest of students in such exercises. Signs of dread were seen in Hamdard University where students got scared and unconscious due to smoke, heavy gunfire and explosives.It is high time to include some practical steps of counter terrorism or self and civil defense which should be performed by students otherwise these exercise will be considered as waste of time and resources.

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