Punjab Government Directed by LHC to Submit Report on Hate Content in Curriculum

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In a hearing held in the court of Mr. Justice Muhammad Sajid Mehmood Sethi on 17th February 2016, the Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered the Prosecutor for Punjab Government to present a report on hate content in textbook curriculum.

According to details, Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) had submitted a petition number 32988-15 on amendment in educational policy against the religious minorities in text books.

During the court hearing the Federal Government responded to Lahore High Court that after 18th amendment in the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan the powers are transferred to the provincial assemblies. The prosecutor of Punjab Government requested Court to grant few weeks so that he can submit response on behalf of Punjab Government. The court fixed next hearing on 1st April, 2016 and directed Prosecutor of Punjab Government to submit report on behalf of Punjab Government.

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Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) with REAT Network Pakistan submitted a writ petition against biased curriculum and hate material in the text books. The petitioner Mr. Naveed Walter President of HRFP prayed that direction be issued to the respondents to review the education policy with regard to the rights of minorities as provided in constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and submitted a proposal to revise the hatred material in the syllabus of Primary, Secondary & Intermediate level. The petitioners also requested that the 20 bonus marks be awarded to Hafiz-e-Quran in professional education should also be granted to minority students with specific courses of their religious books, which may be directed by the court with consultancy of minority religious leaders.

In the previous hearing on October 30, 2015, in the court of Mr. Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, Syed Ishtiaq Hussain advocate of petitioner and Mr. Imran Aziz Khan, deputy Attorney General for Pakistan, submitted that the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in its judgment reported as PLD 2014 Supreme Court 699 have not been implemented by the federal Government of Pakistan. The judge ordered to hand over the copy to the learned Deputy
Attorney General for Pakistan, who had appeared on court’s call. Mr. Justice directed to Deputy Attorney General for Pakistan that he shall seek instructions and file comments to reach this court within 3 weeks, on December 4, 2015. On December 4 the court of Mr. Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan was replaced by Mr. Justice Muhammad Sajid Mehmood Sethi and the hearing was scheduled on February 17, 2016.