Stifling Education

Legal Eye: Stifling education by Babar Sattar
The News, November 22, 2008

The writer is a lawyer based in Islamabad. He is a Rhodes scholar and has an LL.M from Harvard Law School

A few months ago Brigadier Sajjad Azam, Station Commander of Rawalpindi, ordered cancellation of No Objection Certificates issued to schools established in Rawalpindi Cantonment as and when they became due for renewal. The rationale was to shut down private schools established in the vicinity of the GHQ and eradicate a source of nuisance and inconvenience for the military high command, as they caused traffic congestion for an hour at the time of the start and close of school. When inquired where these neighbourhood and community school should relocate, the Station Commander announced in characteristic military style that the future of the schools and their students and staff were not his problem. To the good fortune of private schools the-then Corps Commander of Rawalpindi paid heed to the schools’ frantic appeals and agreed to review the policy framework pursuant to which these schools are registered and issued NOCs. Thus, while the project to uproot private school from Rawalpindi Cantonment has not been shelved, it stands muted for now.

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