After 18 months: SHC seeks report on schools' security plan implementation

Authorities asked to file report by May 4 on steps they have taken

Naeem Sahoutara April 20, 2017
The judges directed the relevant authorities to file a detailed report regarding implementation of the court's directives by May 4. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) questioned on Wednesday the relevant provincial authorities as to what steps they have taken in the light of the court's October 2015 order to provide 'adequate' security to private educational institutes facing threats of possible attack by militants.

A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Munib Akhtar, directed them to submit a detailed report by May 4, regarding the steps they have taken. The court was hearing a petition seeking provision of adequate security to private educational institutes, which were facing threats of attacks similar to the December 2014 attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar where more than 130 students were killed by militants.

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The petition was jointly filed by Advocate Javed Iqbal Burki, a human rights activist, along with the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research and Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, to charge the relevant authorities with contempt of court.

In its May 25, 2016 order, the SHC had ordered a survey to pinpoint which schools are vulnerable and the provision of adequate security arrangements by the provincial government. The court had further directed the relevant authorities to submit a compliance report within four weeks, which the provincial administration failed to submit after the lapse of the given period.

However, on August 27 last year the education secretary had filed a compliance report on behalf of the chief secretary but the report was termed a clear violation, subversion and blatant attempt to undermine the order by the complainant. The court had expressed its dissatisfaction over the report and ordered the education secretary and others to take practical steps for the security of Sindh's schools.

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Educational institutions across the country are facing terror threats and striving to uplift security arrangements after the recent Taliban assault on the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda District of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, which was a chilling reminder of the similar attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar.

Taking up the matter on Wednesday, the judges questioned what steps had been taken with regard to the implementation of the court's directives for security of educational institutes. However, the focal person for the provincial chief secretary was not present to answer to the court's queries.

Therefore, the judges directed the relevant authorities to file a detailed report regarding implementation of the court's directives by May 4.


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