Islamabad - Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan yesterday directed the civic agency to withdraw the 15 days deadline given to private schools under the Supreme Court orders to vacate residential buildings. The minister at a meeting with the representatives of private schools said the Supreme Court would be requested to review its decision regarding private schools as the government has no alternate plan to accommodate thousands of students enrolled in them. The minister was chairing a meeting held here to review security arrangements put in place for private educational institutes and their shifting from residential areas, media houses and other important buildings and various measures being taken to further improve security in federal capital.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Capital Administration Development Division (CADD), Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA), Maroof Afzal, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, SSP Islamabad (Operations), SSP Security, Zonal SPs, representatives of private schools, media and business community and senior officers of the ministry.The CDA on February 3 last had issued notices to about 300 private schools, giving them a deadline of 15 days to evict residential buildings. The schools representatives had announced to protest the eviction without any alternate arrangements by the government on Saturday. But after yesterday’s meeting they postponed the call of agitation as the minister along with other concerned officials assured them to find out an amicable way out.  

The civic agency under the Supreme Court’s orders has been sealing commercial establishments in residential areas over non-conforming use while a large number of private schools are also functional in residential units that were to vacate the residential buildings.The minister said attorney general will be asked to request to the apex court to reconsider its decision about schools or give sometime to make alternate arrangements. The representatives of private schools suggested amendment in by-laws of CDA, or they be allowed to share a part of plots allotted to government schools or new plots in every sector be allotted to them on concessional rates.

Regarding security arrangements the minister said it is our collective responsibility to make Islamabad safe and assure no educational institution and media house would be left unattended. He said each school should hire at least 4 security guards while one or two policemen would also be deployed at every institute by the government. Ch. Nisar directed SSP Islamabad Police to nominate a SP level officer for security who would work as focal person and keep liaison with representatives of media houses and educational institutes. Similarly, a focal person from CADD should also be nominated for the purpose.

The Minister constituted a committee having representatives from private schools, Federal Directorate of Education, CADD and police which would submit its initial report within one month.With regard to security of media houses, he said there must be deployment of trained FC guards on each and every media house whether it is small or big and also announced to specifically grant arms licenses for media houses.He said media houses should also nominate their security officer to ensure liaison with police. Announcing to meet again after one month, he said a comprehensive security plan must be devised to provide security cover to educational institutions and all media houses.

The Minister said as part of measures to further improve security of Capital, a new and innovative chip system for vehicles would be introduced from next month for ease of citizens and added it would be a positive development to make Islamabad a safe city.Moreover, he said the private security companies unable to provide effective security would not be allowed to operate.The representatives of media houses and private schools suggested SoPs should be formed and trained security personnel should be deployed to improve security of their offices as the current security guards of private companies are not trained as per the set standards.