LAHORE - The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered constitution of a committee headed by the Higher Education Commission to develop a road map to ensure basic education for every child.

“Come up with a proposal as to how Article 25-A of the Constitution could be implemented in letter and spirit,” Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar remarked while hearing a suo motu case on provision of basic education to every child from age 5 to 16 in the country. Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan were other members of the bench.

The bench directed the officials to prepare a “one book, one bag and one uniform” road map for children. “Why cannot the child of a poor person enjoy equal opportunities?” the CJP asked.

This is the first time in the country’s history that a top judge has taken up the matter of provision of basic education to children. The bench ordered constitution of a committee headed by HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar with education secretaries of all four provinces, amicus curie Bilal Minto and others as members. The court directed the committee to hold meetings, select members and provide a road map within a month as to how education could be provided to every child in the country. “We appreciate that private schools have a great role in imparting education, but the question is how can a poor child afford education there?” the judge asked.

“Awareness comes through knowledge and educated nations become developed ones,” he remarked. “Look at Sri Lanka where literary rate is up to 99 per cent,” he told the officers present on the occasion.

“Roads are littered and educated people don’t litter roads. Education brings change,” he remarked. The court adjourned further hearing till Saturday (tomorrow).

Pemra told to address

anti-judiciary complaints

The Lahore High Court on Thursday once again directed Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to decide complaints questioning alleged contemptuous speeches by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and other leaders of his party.

Justice Shahid Karim passed the order on a petition challenging alleged anti-judiciary speeches of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Safdar as well as the failure of PEMRA to stop broadcasting of their speeches.

Appearing before the court, PEMRA’s counsel said that soon a report would be submitted before the court in compliance of its previous order regarding decision of the pending complaints. He said the authority’s meeting to be held on March 13.  During the proceedings, Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar who was representing Nawaz Sharif said questioned maintainability of the petition, saying that identical matter was already pending before the Supreme Court.  He also pleaded the court to adjourn the hearing for a date after March 23 as the former prime minister was scheduled to fly abroad.

However, Justice Karim dismissed his plea with directives to PEMRA’s counsel to submit report on March 15.

Aman Malik, a member of a civil society network, had moved the petition through Advocate Azhar Siddique and alleged Nawaz Sharif and his daughter for anti-judiciary speeches. She said they had been running campaign against the state institutions.  She said PEMRA was equally responsible as it failed to control the media and control the broadcasting of their anti-judiciary speeches.

She prayed the court to initiate contempt proceedings against Nawaz Sharif and other leaders of the PML-N for their alleged anti-judiciary speeches.