ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday stayed the privatisation process of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) schools and colleges as had been advertised on May 17 newspapers.

The court also issued notices and sought para-wise comments from the secretary ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Managing Director OPF in this regard. Single member bench of IHC, comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui conducted the proceedings of a plea filed by Syed Ishfaq Hussain Shah, Advocate High Court, seeking to restrain the respondents from privatisation of OPF school and colleges.

During course of hearing, petitioner Ishfaq Hussain apprised the bench that overseas Pakistanis Foundation was established to advance the social welfare of Pakistanis working overseas and their families in Pakistan identifying their problems and by contributing to their solutions including education of children. He argued that OPF Schools/Colleges were established for welfare of the overseas Pakistanis not for the commercial purposes.

But ministry of overseas invited expression of interest to run these schools/colleges in national newspapers from the private sector, he added.

The act of publishing of advertisement by the respondents is against the law of privatisation, privatisation ordinance 2000 Sec.

2.3 and minutes approved by the cabinet committee on privatisation on February 17,2009 and ratified by the cabinet on January 06,2010,he maintained.

He contended that according to the said policy advertisement for the public private partnership shall be published by the Privatisation Commission and not by any other ministry of the government department. Petitioner prayed the court to declare the act of publishing of advertisement for invitation of EoI for privatisation of OPF Schools/Colleges against the law.

 and misuse of authority. Further hearing was adjourned till date in office.