SC to Rule on Maintainability of Plea Against Afghans’ Expulsion Today

Fri Dec 01 2023
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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will rule today (Friday) on the maintainability of a petition seeking restraining orders against the Kakar-led caretaker government’s decision to deport illegal Afghan nationals.

Headed by Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, the bench comprising Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Ayesha Malik, will take up the petition moved by former PPP senator Farhatullah Babar and many others. Umer Ijaz Gilani will represent Babar before the court.

On November 20, Justice Yahya Afridi, during a chamber hearing, ordered to fix the appeal against the SC Registrar’s refusal to entertain the petition. The Registrar’s office had returned the petition on the grounds that it had failed to point out what questions of public importance in the present case were involved with reference to the enforcement of any of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of Pakistan.

The petition was jointly moved on behalf of Senator Farhatullah Babar, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, Mohsin Dawar, Mohammad Jibran Nasir, Amina Masood Janjua, Syed Muaz Shah, Ahmad Shabbar, Pastor Ghazala Parveen, Imaan Zainab Mazari, Advocate Imran Shafiq, Luke Victor, Sijal Shafiq, and Rohail Kasi.

They pleaded before the apex court to restrain the federal government and state institutions from detaining, deporting, or otherwise harassing anyone who possesses a PoR (proof of residence), ACC (Afghan Citizen Card), asylum-seeker application issued by UNHCR or pre-screening slip issued by its partners SHARP and SEHAR.

The petition sought a direction, requiring the federal government not to detain, forcefully deport, or otherwise harass anyone born in Pakistan with a claim to birthright citizenship in accordance with Section 4 of the Citizenship Act, 1951, and the ruling of the Islamabad High Court in 2021 case of Hafiz Hamdullah Saboor.

It contended that the federal government should also be asked to permit UNHCR and its partner organisations to register, expedite the processing, and decide on all asylum-seeking applications in Pakistan.

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