Minorities, transgender and PWDs quotas sought in law colleges

PBC member says it is lawyers’ shared responsibility to make this country more worthy of living for coming...


Hasnaat Malik December 24, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), the apex regulatory body of lawyers in the country, has been urged to fix quotas for minorities, transgender and persons with disabilities (PWDs) in law colleges.

PBC executive member Raheel Kamran Sheikh has written a letter to the bar council, stating that while framing Pakistan Bar Council Legal Education Rules, 2015 and proposing amendments therein, the PBC has completely overlooked the fact that there is a dire need to make the access to legal education more diverse and inclusive for marginalised segments of the society.

“For that purpose, I invite all of you to consider introducing quotas in law college admissions (both in public and private sectors) for persons with disabilities, minorities and transgender persons. Currently, a large number of people belonging to these segments are being deprived of higher education altogether, and even where they are enrolled, access and other facilities offered are not adequate to meet their physical and social needs. Affirmative action in this regard is not only our regulatory responsibility but also essential for the enforcement of fundamental rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution,” read the letter.

PBC urged to push for female members

Sheikh also proposed planning budget allocation for financial assistance of deserving students; directing law colleges to make ramps; providing accessible space and washrooms for PWDs, directing colleges to periodically submit information regarding the students enrolled on quota to the respective bar councils in the province and ICT with copies to this Council.

The PBC executive member also urged the bar council to demand of the federal and provincial governments to publish for sale adequate number of copies of all laws in braille, as well, to make the same universally accessible.

“Thirdly, let us demand from the Higher Education Commission and the education ministries/departments of the federal and provincial governments to introduce the subject of human rights as a mandatory subject in all colleges for higher secondary school syllabus.”

Sheikh hoped the aforementioned proposals shall be considered seriously and placed in the next meeting of the council for appropriate action. “We have a responsibility towards our next generations to make this country and society a place more worthy of living than what we inherited,” he concluded.

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