That Justice Nasir Saeed of the Lahore Court had to say the obvious when he spoke about the constitution’s article 25 A, which states that education is every citizen’s right shows the dismal state of how this most fundamental of the rights has been disregarded. Justice Nasir then called on the state to see to it that every child between the ages of five and 16 was given free education.

A comparison with the developed countries would reveal that the secret to their success has been affordable and quality education. In Pakistan, a country plagued by feudalism, extremism and successive government’s misplaced focus, this basic commodity guaranteed by the constitution has been missing, thanks to a section of the ruling class that sees an enlightened society a challenge to their unbridled rule. Whatever development has been made has been stifled by an unequal system, wherein seminaries, English as well as Urdu medium schools have been functioning, giving rise to different modes of thoughts within the society. Meanwhile, millions who cannot even afford Urdu medium schools are left in the lurch. Hence, as Justice Nasir has said, the state itself needs to step forward to make arrangements for making it mandatory for all children to go to school, while at the same time punishing all those who hire children as labourers. Unless such measures are taken there is very little to hope for.