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Pakistan SC summons foreign, finance and interior secretaries

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday summoned federal secretaries of Interior, Foreign and Finance ministries on May 20 to explain the the steps taken by them regarding repatriation of Pakistanis jailed abroad.

world Updated: May 17, 2010 21:03 IST

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday summoned federal secretaries of Interior, Foreign and Finance ministries on May 20 to explain the the steps taken by them regarding repatriation of Pakistanis jailed abroad.

The three-member bench of the apex court of Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa gave the directives while hearing missing persons case and asked the officials to reply on May 20.

The court also expressed dissatisfaction over a report submitted by the foreign ministry in the case with an observation that the report was silent over the steps taken by the ministry for the release of Pakistani prisoners.

The court in its order observed that finance ministry has not been approached so far on the issue of repatriation of Pakistani jailed abroad.

Justice Iqbal during the case observed that after all Pakistanis jailed overseas are citizens of Pakistan and it is responsibility of the government to make some serious efforts for their release.

"If they have committed any offence they should be provided with legal assistance and if they have already undergone their sentences they should be brought back," he said.

Additional Attorney General, KK Agha informed the bench that due to some financial constraints the government is facing difficulty in expatriation of Pakistanis jailed abroad.

Justice Parvez on which said that funds should be provided to these people by the government or by the NGOs.

The bench during the proceedings inquired from the AAG regarding any prisoner exchange program with Thai government.

The AAG on which said that no such action took place. He told the bench that about 145 Pakistanis are detained in Thai jails. Justice Iqbal observed that no action so far has been taken prior to court's order as the matter had been highlighted in newspapers.

He said that situation in Afghanistan is alarming where 127 Pakistanis are behind the bars and no one is bothering about them.

He said that it is astonishing that no formal complaint has been taken up with the Afghanistan authorities, "at least some efforts should be made to solve the issue."

Agha apprising the bench over the situation of Pakistanis detained in Malaysia said that 425 Pakistan prisoners are in Malaysian jails.