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December 1, 2020

Reply sought in Pakistani prisoners case

Lahore

December 1, 2020

LAHORE : The Lahore High Court on Monday asked the ministry of foreign affairs as to how much more time the government would require to bring back 44 Pakistanis imprisoned abroad.

In compliance with the court’s previous direction, Assistant Director for Iran and Turkey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Saima Khan appeared before the court and submitted a list of Pakistanis confined in Iranian prisons. Justice Shahid Waheed went through the documents and asked the ministry to apprise on the next hearing as to how much more time would be needed to bring back the prisoners. The judge was hearing a petition by Justice Project Pakistan (JPP) on behalf of the families of the Pakistanis imprisoned in Iran for alleged drug offences.

Earlier, Barrister Sarah Belal, on behalf of the petitioners, informed the court that earlier in the year, the Iranian Deputy Minister for Justice and Human Rights Mahmoud Abbasi had said that 44 Pakistani prisoners were ready to be repatriated by Iran and the Iranian government was awaiting a response from Pakistani authorities. She said the Iranian courts would not review the death sentences automatically and the government of Pakistan would have to ensure an effective representation of its citizens before the authority concerned. She argued that it was the Pakistan government’s duty under the Constitution to protect its citizens wherever in the world they may be.