LAHORE - The Federal Public Service Commission, which holds competetion examinations, last week told the Lahore High Court that it is not possible for the FPSC to hold the next CSS exams in Urdu.

There is no syllabus in Urdu and no examiners are available, the court was told. To further strengthen the case of its inability, the FPSC said that Urdu is not a compulsory course for graduation, and despite the fact that in Constitution Urdu has to be the official language of the Islamic Republic, no steps have been taken to translate this provision into reality. Therefore, the FPSC representative said it is not possible for the commission to hold CSS examination in Urdu.

The commission had challenged the LHC single bench’s verdict, in which it was ordered to ensure CSS exam of 2018 in Urdu. The appeal was fixed before a division bench headed by Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah. After hearing the commission’s arguments , the bench suspended the single bench’s order and observed that it’s not the court’s job to change languages.

Saifur Rehman advocate, a candidate of CSS 2017, had filed the petition and objected to an FPSC advertisement which, he said, was silent about language in which the examination would be held. The petitioner’s stance was that the SC had ruled that Urdu be enforced while the Constitution is also clear about enforcement of Urdu. “But it is not being enforced nor has the government taken necessary measures,” he maintained. The court adjourned the hearing for three weeks.

Another significant matter, related to Pakistan’s foreign policy, was the case of teachers and students of PakTurk International schools. The federal government told the LHC that Turkish nationals would not be deported.

During hearing of a petition by Mehmet Ali Seker and others associated with the PakTurk Educational Foundation, Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf stated that the Turkish national teachers/students had filed applications to the United Nations to declare them refugees. The government had no plan to deport the Turkish teachers and students before any decision by the UN, he added.

In light of the attorney general’s statement, Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi disposed of the petition.

During the week, the LHC also made appointment of new Inspector General Police, Punjab, conditional with the order of the high court. CJ Shah passed the order while hearing a petition challenging process of appointment of new IGP.

The CJ remarked that apparently it seems negligence to avoid fully implementation of Police Order 2002. The court issued notice on the petition and asked amicus curie Khawaja Harris and Asma Jahangir to file their reply before the court.

Muhammad Razzaq, a citizen, had filed the petition through his counsel Saad Rasool and submitted that the Punjab IG is going to retire on April 10 and the Punjab government has started process to make new appointment without fulfilling the legal formalities.

During last hearing, the CJ had remarked that appointments of Inspector General Police and CCPOs should be done through Punjab Public Safety Commission (PPSC) but, unfortunately, the PPSC was never constituted and common citizens have been kept away from the process of appointments of IGs and CCPOs.

According to the Police Order 2002, the petitioner’s counsel added, appointment and posting of the Provincial Police Officer and Capital City Police officer cannot be made without involvement of National and Provincial Public Safety Commissions respectively. Similarly, the appointment and posting of City Police Officer and District Police Officer is linked to the District Public Safety Commission, he told the court.

Once appointed, the PPO, CCPO and DPOs would enjoy a term of three years and could only be removed by the provincial government with agreement of the concerned Public Safety Commissions. In the absence of the relevant statutory bodies, the provisions concerning security of tenure of police officers are being completely ignored and violated, he added.

The counsel prayed the court to declare the respondent federal and provincial government to ensure implementation of the Police Order in letter and spirit to ensure de-politicisation, democratic accountability and autonomy of the police of the province.

The LHC also issued notices to the federal government and Election Commission of Pakistan on a writ petition seeking cancellation of 325 political parties’ registration.

Safdar Gill advocate, in his petition, contended that all the political parties were bound to submit details of their assets and tax with the ECP under Political Parties Act of 1962. He said only eight out of a total of 333 major and small political parties filed their income tax returns. The petitioner said that no political party declared income resources and assets for year 2016.