KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday directed the provincial authorities to apprise it about what measures they have taken to secure the public and private educational institutions across the province, excluding the government’s advisory regarding security arrangements in wake of the attack on an Army-run school in Peshawar.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar issued notice to Sindh chief secretary, education and literacy department secretary, home secretary to submit their response to the petition by January 21.
The court instructed them to submit a detailed report regarding measures they have taken for educational institutions’ security except Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) prepared by them for the schools.
The court had taken up a petition filed by non-government organizations, including Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research (Piler), Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) and Javeed Iqbal Burqi who approached the court, requesting it to declare the authorities are under constitutional obligation to ensure comprehensive and effective protection of the all educational institutions.
The petitioners represented by advocate Faisal Siddiqui submitted the emerging situation in the aftermath of attack on the school in Peshawar warranted special measures for the security of the schools. Therefore, they added, Sindh government issued guidelines for the institutions regarding security and directed their management to reopen the schools for classes on Jan 12 after the winter vacation where foolproof security arrangements have been made.
They said it has been reported that the governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa provinces have formulated SOPs and directed the schools management to follow the same strictly. Fortifying boundary walls, putting up concertina wire on the boundary walls, installation of CCTV cameras and deployment of security guards are among the guidelines for the schools.
However, they said, there appears to have been done very little in the province to promulgate SOPs and ensure implementation of the same.
The petitioners prayed the court to declare action of the government to provide additional protection to VVIPs including government officials, politicians, etc without any reasonable classification and basis is unconstitutional and illegal. The court was requested to direct the government to ensure special measures are taken for comprehensive and effective protection of the educational institutions.
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