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February 26, 2020

Coronavirus outbreak in China: PHC seeks govt reply on measures for students’ return

Peshawar

February 26, 2020

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday sought a reply from the federal government about the measures being taken to ensure the safe return of Pakistani students stuck in China since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Nasir Mahfooz adjourned the case till March 16 after serving notices to the federal government.

The writ petition has been filed in the Peshawar High Court to direct the government for ensuring safe return of students stranded in Wuhan and other areas in China since the outbreak of coronavirus.

During the hearing, Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth remarked that coronavirus had reached Iran and Afghanistan and measures were needed to stop its spread to the country.

The petitioners said that 83 Pakistani students were still stranded in Wuhan and the administration has converted the university into hospital where they were being kept in isolation.

The petitioners said that none of these students were affected by the coronavirus but they were not being allowed even to talk to their families.

They demanded their return through a special flight so that they could be reunited with their worried families.

The Additional Advocate General, Mohammad Atif, told the court that the writ petition did not fall in their jurisdiction as they couldn’t arrange plane for the students.

He said that it was a federal issue, therefore, the federal government should be issued notices in it.

Meanwhile, a division bench of the Peshawar High Court expressed anger over the authorities of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for not appearing before the court in important cases.

A division bench comprising Justice Qaisar Rashid and Justice Naeem Anwar remarked that prosecutors of the National Accountability Bureau did not appear before the court. The bench summoned the director general of NAB who appeared before the court on Tuesday.

Justice Qaisar Rashid expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of NAB, saying cases were sent to the courts but nobody appeared for the follow-up.

The NAB DG assured the court that prosecutors would appear in every case in future after which the case was adjourned.