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February 15, 2020

IHC directs govt to approach: Pak students in China Justice Minallah

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February 15, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday directed the authorities concerned to make a mechanism to help Pakistani students stranded in China due to outbreak of deadly coronavirus and also satisfy their parents.

Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah conducted the hearing on a petition to direct the government to evacuate Pakistani citizens from China.

During hearing, Justice Athar Minallah remarked that if Afghanistan has evacuated its citizens from China then why Pakistan is not doing this.

Justice Minallah said that some students have contacted the court through email and told that the government is not assisting them in this critical situation. One woman stuck in China also has a child. The government should approach all Pakistanis residing there and help them, he ordered.

The court also directed Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Syed Zulfikar Bukhari, to arrange a meeting between families and students and satisfy the parents. The court further strictly instructed the federal government to prepare proper mechanism in this regard. A Foreign Ministry official told the court that 1,094 Pakistani students are in Wuhan and 620 on other place. There is a complete lockdown in Wuhan since 21 January and flight operations are suspended. We are in contact with the Chinese embassy.

He further told that out of four Pakistani students, one completely fine whereas others are recovering. “Our two officials reached in Wuhan and they will stay there, and we are monitoring situation 24/7,” he added.

Parents of the Pakistani students told the court that food which children want is not given to them. They are in trouble.

To this, Justice Minallah remarked that it’s very strange that other countries are evacuating their students. Are we not capable to do this? “Court will not interface in policy matter but will ensure students could approach the government directly,” he said and added the government has to decide what to do.

The Foreign Ministry official ensured that he will contact Pakistani students and will update their parents. Justice Minallah remarked the government working on it to solve this issue. It also has to protect Pakistanis living in this country. The court directed to appoint focal person make mechanism and satisfy the parents and adjourned the hearing till 21 February.