Lahore High Court orders steps for release of Pakistanis
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday to take effective measures for the release of Pakistani citizens detained at Bagram Theatre Internment Camp in Afghanistan.
Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan admonished a law officer for seeking more time to submit a reply on behalf of the federal government and the ministry. The judge was hearing a petition filed by Justice Project Pakistan, a non-profit law firm, for the release and return of Pakistani citizens from the US captivity.
JPP counsel Barrister Sarah Belal submitted a draft of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which ensured that both the US and Pakistan governments agreed to securely transfer the Pakistani detainees back to their homeland through a peaceful and diplomatic approach.
She said a similar MoU had already been signed between Afghanistan and the US for transferring custody of over 3,000 Afghan detainees. She said it would be deplorable if we (Pakistan) could not get this MoU signed for the 37 Pakistanis who had been ‘illegally’ detained for years.
The judge adjourned further hearing till Oct 16, and directed the ministry’s counsel to come up with a report.
According to the petition, Pakistani citizens had been detained at Bagram jail without any charge or trial since 2003. It said they were abducted from Pakistan and removed to the infamous US prison in Afghanistan.
VISA CASE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday directed the Federal Investigation Agency to conclude its inquiry against a visa consultancy firm’s chief executive officer and submit it before the court. Justice Syed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi issued this direction after suspending a stay order earlier issued by another judge of the high court.
Justice Naqvi was hearing a set of petitions against Future Concern CEO Asim Malik.
The judge directed Malik to submit details of all visa cases being dealt by his company and also summoned officials of the Baghbanpura police station when Malik claimed that he had lost his blue passport. He said a complaint was also lodged with Baghbanpura police in this regard. The accused had already surrendered his green passport to the court.
The accused, through his counsel, sought exemption from personal appearance in the court, however, the judge rejected the plea and directed the accused to appear on every hearing.
The judge deferred further proceedings till Sept 28.
The petitioners submitted that they had given money to the respondent company for going abroad, but they defrauded. They said company’s chief executive Asim Malik neither sent them abroad nor returned their money.