PHC seeks reply from govt over offloading PTI leader

December 07, 2023

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday sought a reply from the federal government in a case filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shaukat Yousafzai for offloading him from a Saudi Arabia-bound flight.

A two-member bench consisting of Justice Ijaz Anwar and Justice SM Atiq Shah heard the writ petition. Syed Sikandar Hayat Shah Advocate told the court that his client was a former provincial minister and was going to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah when he was prevented from boarding the plane.

The Peshawar High Court building. — PHC website

Former provincial minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai had approached the (PHC) after he was stopped at the Bacha Khan International Airport from leaving abroad. He filed the writ petition through his lawyer Syed Sikandar Hayat Shah Advocate. The federal government, director general of the Federal Investigation Agency, director Immigration and Passport, Islamabad and Immigration officials in Peshawar were made respondents in the writ petition.

The lawyer told the court that Shaukat Yousafzai served as provincial minister for two terms after winning the 2013 and 2018 general elections. He said the PTI leader wanted to visit Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah but he was prevented from boarding the aircraft.

He said his client was offloaded from the plane despite the fact that his name was not placed on the Exit Control List. The PTI leader took the plea in the petition that the immigration authorities had cleared him and a boarding pass was also issued to him, but he was not allowed to catch the flight. His counsel told the court that his client never indulged in anti-state activities and no case was registered against him, but despite that he was not allowed to fly abroad.