Thursday February 29, 2024

Seeking documents for Afghan husbands: PHC asks Nadra to process five cases of Pakistani women

November 18, 2023
NADRAs mega centre in Peshawar. — APP File
NADRA's mega centre in Peshawar. — APP File

PESHAWAR: A division bench of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Friday heard 23 cases of the Pakistani women married to Afghan citizens and seeking Pakistani Origin Card (POC) for husbands.

The bench comprising Justice Arshad Ali and Justice Waqar Ahmad decided five cases. It asked the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to proceed with the cases for grant of POC) while 120 other cases were clubbed and fixed for a final hearing on December 1.

Saifullah Muhib Kakakhel represented the 23 petitioners while Additional Attorney General Sanaullah appeared for the federation and Imran Gigyani for National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra).

The counsel for petitioners argued that POC rules as promulgated by Nadra provided for its grant to any foreigner who was not a citizen of Pakistan and married to a Pakistani.

The counsel argued that international law, national law of Pakistan and judgements support the stance of petitioners whereas they are entitled to certain fundamental rights for residing in Pakistan and the foremost being right to life which involves a peaceful and swift matrimonial life.

The counsel argued that through a POC card any foreigner could acquire all rights of a citizen of Pakistan except for casting vote in elections and a passport. He argued that Nadra was refusing to abide by its own rules of granting the card labelling Afghans as aliens which they were not as per the stance of the Interior Ministry as they were issued Proof of Registration POR) cards and Afghan Citizen Cards (ACCs) .

The bench after hearing the counsel for petitioners decided five cases to be proceeded by Nadra for grant of POCs whereas ordered to be assisted on international and local law on the subject along with judgements from foreign countries.

The court also ordered the attorney general office to assist the court on the status of foreign nationals and refugees.It is worth mentioning here that more people approached the court after the government decided to repatriate those Afghans who do not possess POR cards or ACCs.

In October last year, the PHC declared that Naseer Muhammad, Afghan husband of a Pakistani woman, Sameena, was entitled to be issued POR.Besides, the court last month decided a case in favour of Zeenat Begum, a local woman married to an Afghan national, after she moved the PHC to stop being separated from her spouse.

Many of the local spouses have refused to go with their husbands after thousands of families started repatriation since the expiry of the deadline for the undocumented foreigners.A woman was killed allegedly by her Afghan spouse recently in Nowshera after she refused to go to Afghanistan.