ISLAMABAD-The Islamabad High Court on Monday expressed annoyance over non-submission of reply by Interior Ministry in former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf’s petition seeking removal of his name from the Exit Control List.

A division bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conducted hearing of the petition and summoned additional secretary interior to appear before the court in person on the next hearing for not submitting the reply in this matter.

During the hearing, Justice Kayani remarked that despite the notices, the interior ministry did not submit its reply. He said that this attitude was not acceptable.

After issuing above-mentioned directions, the bench deferred hearing in this petition till September 5.

In his petition, Pakistan People’s Party leader Raja Pervaiz Ashraf sought removal of his name from the ECL while his counsel Farooq Naek contended before the bench that since the accountability court’s judge Bashir was on leave and the former PM was scheduled to attend a conference abroad, the court should pass an order to the interior ministry for the removal of his client’s name from the ECL.

However, the NAB prosecutor told the court that judge Bashir would resume his duties on September 6. At this, Advocate Naek argued that the conference was scheduled to be held on September 6 and Ashraf needed to be there well before this date.

Meanwhile, a single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah directed the zoo administration to save the animals from any harm and address the adverse conditions in zoo.

During the hearing, the IHC bench observed that it has proved that Islamabad Zoo was not meeting the standards set for a zoo internationally. Justice Athar said that the zoo administration intended to bring 3 more elephants while even not properly taking care of a lone elephant in the zoo.

Addressing the zoo officials, the IHC Chief Justice said that if you people could not facilitate the elephant send it back to Sri Lanka. Deputy Director of the zoo said that a PC-I was forwarded to the planning commission for improving the conditions in Islamabad zoo and to meet the international standard but the proposal was rejected.

Later, the court adjourned hearing of the case till September 6.