Effective security at schools in Sindh: SHC summons home, education secretaries
The Sindh High Court on Wednesday summoned home and education secretaries on a petition calling for effective security of public and private educational institutions across the Sindh province. A division bench headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar directed officials to submit a detailed report regarding measures they have taken for educational institutions' security except Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Copyright Pakistan Press International, 2015
While adjourning till January 28, the court cautioned the provincial authorities that in case its orders were not complied with, appropriate orders shall be passed. The bench had taken up a petition filed by non-government organisations, including Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research (Piler), Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) and Javed Iqbal Burqi who approached the court, requesting it to declare the authorities that were under constitutional obligation to ensure comprehensive and effective protection of all educational institutions.
The petitioners represented by advocate Faisal Siddiqui submitted the emerging situation in the aftermath of attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar warranted special measures for the security of schools. Therefore, they added, the Sindh government issued guidelines for the institutions regarding security and directed their management to reopen schools on January 12 after the winter vacation where foolproof security arrangements have been made.
They said it has been reported that the provincial governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have formulated SOPs and directed 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 of Sindh to promulgate SOPs and ensure implementation of the same. The petitioners prayed the court to declare action of the Sindh government to provide additional protection to VVIPs, including government officials, politicians, etc without any reasonable classification and basis was unconstitutional and illegal. The court was requested to direct the Sindh government to ensure special measures are taken for comprehensive and effective protection of educational institutions.