Serious security lapses were responsible for the deadly Taliban attack on the Bacha Khan University, a probe panel has found, recommending the removal of the Pakistani varsity’s vice-chancellor and security chief.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s provincial government had set up a three-member committee to probe the January 20 assault on the university – named after the iconic Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan – in Charsadda that killed 21 people, including 19 students.
The committee held the university’s vice chancellor Fazal-ur-Rahim Marwat and security in-charge Ashfaq Ahmed responsible for “serious lapses in the security management” and recommended their removal.
They were also held responsible by the committee for their failure to take any security aspect into consideration.
The “university leadership failed its students and employees at all levels,” the committee said in its report.
According to the report, though preventative security measures including observation posts were in place and CCTV cameras installed but there was no central control room for monitoring the cameras.
The committee found that the cameras installed at the point from where the terrorists scaled the campus wall were facing the wrong direction.
It said the security staff at the university were not trained and most of them were employed on daily wages.
The committee filed its report based on oral and written statements of the staff, and also reviewed the available data and evidence.
The attack revived memories of the horrific December, 2014 Taliban strike on an army-run school in the nearby city of Peshawar that killed 150 people, 144 of them children.
Taliban militants have often threatened to target Pakistan’s educational institutions.