Islamabad: Amid the growing presence of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the country, Pakistan defence minister Khawaja Asif has expressed concerns over the deteriorating law and order situation in the northwest part of the country.

Asif said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was responsible for maintaining a law and order situation that has witnessed a surge in attacks in the recent past. "Armed forces rendered countless sacrifices to establish peace in the country," he was quoted as saying by ARY News on Monday.

Speaking on the floor of the house, the Pakistan defence minister recommended holding a debate in the house on the law and order situation of the KP province.

"Former prime minister had taken shelter in KP and he is using the resources of the KP government. The whole [provincial] government is just focusing on getting power for its leader. An individual is using religion card for his political gains," he said.

Pakistan defence minister's remarks came on the day as armed men opened fire on a school van in Khyber that killed a driver while injuring a child. This incident comes amid concerns over the growing presence of TTP in the northwest part of the country, following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August.

The firing took place in Swat's Char Bagh area, a day after the 10th anniversary of the shooting of Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai by the outlawed group TTP, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The police said the incident occurred on Monday outside the Knowledge City School in the Guli Bagh locality. After the news broke, scores of students and teachers of private schools in the Swat district demonstrated against terrorist activities in the region.

Hundreds of protesters, who chanted slogans demanding peace in the region, said the law and order situation in Swat had been deteriorating for the past three months. "We know who is behind the current drama. We know why the security forces are helpless against a few so-called terrorists," a protester was quoted as saying by Dawn.

A Pakistan rights group condemned the "terrorist attack" on a school bus in Swat and said, "Swat's residents are right to hold the security forces responsible for failing to enforce the writ of the state."

"HRCP strongly condemns the terrorist attack on a school bus in Swat, in which the driver was killed and a young girl injured," the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said in a statement posted on Twitter.

In its statement, the HRCP accused the government of downplaying the threat from militants.

"While the perpetrators must be brought to book promptly, the state must also stop ceding space to extremists - a lesson it has consistently failed to learn at the expense of its people," the group added.