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FAQ

The Public Interest Law Association of Pakistan (PILAP) is a non-profit, apolitical organisation that fights for the fulfillment of fundamental rights safeguarded by the Constitution. It was established by a group of concerned citizens in 2011 and is registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. PILAP is funded by members through fees and donations.

PILAP seeks the fulfillment of fundamental rights, including government accountability and transparency. To accomplish this, we first engage in detailed research on any given public interest issue. We then proceed to advocating for the issue in question before pursing it through litigation.

Our aim is to follow the example set by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in the United States. The ACLU was founded over a hundred years ago by a small group of American citizens who took a stand against serious violations of the civil liberties guaranteed by the US Constitution. The small group has evolved exponentially since it was formed in 1919 and is now the premier defender of civil liberties in the United States. Some of the major landmark cases of the US Supreme Court that have solidified and effectively brought the civil liberties to the American people were instigated by the ACLU. The organisation has routinely and successfully stood up against government violations of civil liberties. It is our sincere hope and aim to similarly stand up fearlessly against violations of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan.

PILAP is currently pursuing a wide range of public interest issues which can be viewed under the Issues section of our website. Some of the major ones are listed below:

  1. Police Reforms: PILAP has filed a petition before the Sindh High Court for the depoliticization of the police force. The Sindh Government in enacting the Sindh Repeal of the Police Act, 1861 and Revival of Police Order, 2002) (Amendment) Act, 2019 has promulgated a law in direct contradiction of original Police Order 2002. 

  2. Bulk Water Project K-IV: PILAP is pushing for swift completion of K-IV project in Karachi for the benefit of the public and provision of safe water for the city’s residents.

  3. Pollution in Ravi River: PILAP filed a Writ Petition before the Lahore High Court against the discharge of untreated waste into the Ravi River. Consequently, the Lahore High Court ordered the formation of the River Ravi Commission to facilitate bioremediation as a way to clean the river. 

  4. Right to Education: PILAP has filed a writ petition before the Sindh High Court for the enforcement of Article 25A of the Constitution which requires the government to provide free education. The state of education in Sindh is dire as highlighted by media reports, surveys conducted by organisations such as Alif Ailan, AESR and international institutions. PILAP has challenged this state of affairs.

  5. Development of Amenity Plots: PILAP has filed an intervener application before the Supreme Court of Pakistan in a civil petition that calls into question unregulated encroachments and the failure of the concerned authorities to maintain and develop public parks and amenity plots in Karachi.

  6. Citizenship Rights Education (CRE) is a project undertaken by PILAP to provide training to school-teachers and children to make them aware of their rights and responsibilities as citizens. PILAP, in collaboration with the Teachers Resource Center, has run a pilot project over 2 years, training teachers in selected government, private and charity schools in Karachi. The aim is to introduce the CRE project in other schools as well.

1. Become a Member of the Citizens’ Assembly
Become a member of PILAP’s Citizens’ Assembly to vote on issues you would like to challenge within the public sphere.

2. Become an Associate or Student Member
You may join us by becoming an Associate Member, and if you’re a student we welcome you to join as a Student Member. There is no membership fee for either category of membership, however Associate and Student Members have the option to make one-time or recurring donations. As an Associate or Student Member you will receive the annual report as well as updates on the organisations activities and performance. You can find out more about membership options here. https://pilap.pk/membership/

3. Donate
Donate to PILAP for individual causes that may be close to your heart. The donations will be used to pay legal fees, fund advocacy and social media awareness campaigns. You can find the donations form here. https://pilap.pk/donate/

4. Volunteer
Volunteer to research, advocate for causes, participate in campaigns etc. To become a volunteer please provide your email address here: https://pilap.pk/help-pilap/

To update or correct your mailing address, telephone number, and/or email address, please send an email to [email protected]

PILAP does not provide refunds on donations.

If you feel that your rights have been violated by a public body you may find recourse by submitting a Right to Information application to the concerned authority, writing to the concerned public official or filing a Writ Petition before the High Courts. Learn about your rights, how to exercise them, and what to do when your rights have been violated by emailing us at [email protected].

The driving force behind PILAP is a group of dedicated members known as the Citizens’ Assembly. Members are carefully selected by the Executive Committee from amongst citizens who have shown a commitment to public interest. The group operates on a democratic basis; it meets on a bi-annual basis to vote on the matters of public interest that are to be pursued by the organisation each year. Given the exponential number of public interest issues plaguing our country, the ones that can be effectively addressed by the organisation each year must be limited and thus the most critical ones are chosen by a majority vote of the Citizens’ Assembly each year.

Following the introduction of the Citizens’ Assembly, the organisation has been restructured to be more sustainable and is supported by a fully functional operations team as well as a team of pro bono lawyers.

You can find out more about joining our Citizens’ Assembly here (https://pilap.pk/membership/)