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Govt to submit security plan for private schools.

KARACHI -- The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed on Thursday the focal person for the provincial chief secretary to submit a detailed report outlining what steps had been taken in the light of the court's October 2015 order to provide 'adequate' security to private educational institutions facing threats of possible attacks by militants.

A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Munib Akhtar, directed the officer to also mention whether such steps were taken in accordance with the suggestions made by the petitioners.

The court was hearing a petition seeking provision of adequate security to private educational institutes facing threats similar to the December 2014 attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar where more than 130 students were killed.

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.

State-of-the-art school built in Rehri Goth

In its May 25, 2016 order, the SHC had ordered a survey to pinpoint which schools were 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.

Educational institutions across the country are facing terror threats and striving to enhance security arrangements after the Taliban assault on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda District of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

SHC CJ questions steps taken for school buildings' rehabilitation

On Thursday, a provincial government's law officer informed that the focal person, who was summoned on the last date, could not appear before the court since he was busy before the SHC's Sukkur Circuit Bench.

The officer maintained that the education secretary had consulted the private educational institutions and security measures were being put in place accordingly. 'Security of educational institutions in Sindh is a major matter of concern, therefore, efforts are under way to address the same,' the law officer added, seeking time to allow the focal person to appear in the court.

Allowing request, the bench directed the focal person to submit report on the security measures keeping in view the suggestions made by the petitioners. The hearing was adjourned indefinitely.

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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Dec 8, 2017
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