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March 3, 2021

Ministry’s report sought in case of Pak prisoners in Iran

Lahore

March 3, 2021

LAHORE:The Lahore High Court on Tuesday directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to submit a detailed report on the efforts made to provide consular assistance to Pakistanis imprisoned in Iran in order to secure their repatriation.

Earlier, representing a public interest petition, Barrister Sarah Belal said the state was responsible to represent the imprisoned citizens forcefully as required by law to expedite their repatriation and ensure consular assistance at all stages of their imprisonment. She said the efforts of the ministry’s Iran Desk and holding consistent meetings with their counterparts in Tehran to bring back prisoners were laudable but a consular policy was still pending.

She said due to the lack of a uniform consular policy, Pakistani citizens imprisoned abroad lacked consular support and adequate legal representation. Justice Shahid Waheed adjourned the hearing for a week. As per a report submitted by the ministry at the previous hearing, 102 Pakistanis are imprisoned in Iran. Of these, 65 prisoners have already been convicted and are eligible for repatriation to their home country under a Prisoner Transfer Agreement signed by the two nations in 2014. The agreement allows prisoners to complete their sentences in their native countries.