PESHAWAR: A total of 2,027 students who studied at the five cadet colleges established in the conflict-hit areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the last five years have managed to join the armed forces as officers as well as medical and engineering universities and other educational institutions of higher learning.
The cadet colleges are run by the army, which conceived the idea and got the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to provide funds for the project. The majority of students who benefited from the cadet colleges belong to the newly merged districts.
Figures obtained from officials showed that 232 of the 2,027 students who qualified from the cadet colleges were commissioned in the armed forces, 392 got admission in medical colleges to become doctors, 540 joined engineering universities and 863 opted to receive higher education in other educational institutions.
The officials described this as the dividend of the efforts to invest in quality education during the last five years. The establishment of cadet colleges in under-developed areas affected by militancy and conflict enabled a significant number of students to receive good education and become officers in the armed forces, doctors and engineers. Many others studied different subjects in educational institutions of higher learning.
These five cadet colleges are located in Swat, Swabi, Warsak, Wana and Spinkai. The sites were chosen keeping in view the impact the cadet colleges would have on people who had suffered at the hands of armed militants.
Swat was selected as the site of a cadet college as it was affected by militancy along with most other districts in Malakand division. The security forces had to undertake a major military operation in Swat in May 2009 against the Pakistani Taliban. It also displaced about 2.3 million people and damaged tourism, the mainstay of Swat’s economy.
Swabi wasn’t captured by the Taliban militants, but part of the district was affected by militancy and action had to be taken against the terrorists in intelligence-based operations in places like Malikabad in Gadoon.
Warsak due to its location close to the Mohmand and Khyber tribal districts, both badly hit by militancy, was an ideal place to set up a cadet college for educating young men. Wana and Spinkai Raghzai are both sited in South Waziristan, which was the first tribal agency in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) to become the hub of local and foreign militants following the US invasion of neighbouring Afghanistan in October 2001. Wana is the centre of the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe and Spinkai Raghzai is located near the heartland of the Mahsud tribe. The Ahmadzai Wazir and Mahsud tribes often differ with each other while seeking a larger share of development funds and projects for their respective areas.
The Cadet College Swat was ahead by producing 663 graduates who were able to make a career in the armed forces and in the much-sought after professions of medicine and engineering. It was followed by the cadet colleges in Swabi, Wana, Warsak and Spinkai.
The 663 students who graduated from Cadet College Swat included 35 who joined the armed forces in the officers’ rank, 186 got admission in medical colleges/universities, 210 in the engineering universities and 232 in other miscellaneous educational institutions.
The Cadet College Swabi produced 627 graduates who did well to seek a better future by joining the armed forces, the medical and engineering universities and other seats of higher learning. Among them were 93 who became officers in the armed forces, 111 and 165 who joined the medical and engineering universities, respectively, and 258 who pursued higher education in other educational institutions.
The Cadet College Warsak, located at the confluence of Peshawar, Mohmand and Khyber districts, produced 273 graduates including 23 who joined the armed forces in the officers’ rank. Another 33 got admitted to medical colleges/universities, 87 to engineering universities and 130 in other educational institutions of higher learning.
A total of 383 students of Cadet College Wana, located in the main town of South Waziristan district, qualified with distinction as 60 were commissioned in the armed forces, 57 received admission in medical colleges/universities, 69 in engineering universities and 197 pursued higher education in other educational institutions.
The relatively new Cadet College Spinkai in South Waziristan, sent 21 of its students to the armed forces, five to medical colleges/universities, nine to engineering universities and 46 to other educational institutions for pursuing higher education. The total number of its graduates who performed exceptionally well was 81.
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