Pakistan Peshawar school massacre
Siraj ul Haq (L), head of Pakistan's Jama'at e Islami political and religious party, gestures as he talks to students during his visit to Army Public School (APS), which was attacked by Taliban gunmen and reopened yesterday, in PeshawarFayaz Aziz/Reuters

The government of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan has allowed school teachers and other staff to carry guns to confront extremists in case of an attack in the backdrop of the Peshawar school massacre by Taliban.

The move is to improve the security situation at educational institutions, said the provincial government.

"The provincial cabinet has decided to allow teachers and other staff members to keep their licensed weapons with them so that in case of any eventuality they could engage attackers for initial five to 10 minutes before personnel of law-enforcement agencies will show up to respond to the attack," information minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani told reporters following cabinet meeting, according to the Dawn.

This is part of several measures initiated by the government and those institutions that fail to adhere to the proposals will be shut down, he said.

The government said it is impossible for the 65,000-strong security forces to provide security for the entire province and hence allowed school staff to carry arms.

Those who work in schools will also be given gun-licences on priority basis, it has been announced.

"Strict action will be taken against all those schools, which reopened without taking the suggested security measures, including installation of CCTV cameras, deployment of more guards, and the fixing of barbed or razor wires on boundary walls," said Ghani.

In the freewheeling measures, security at other public places is also being beefed up.