ISLAMABAD-The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday gave one week’s time to the government in a petition seeking appropriate measures from government including constitution of medical board and detention of passengers coming from China to stop the spread of Coronavirus in Pakistan.

Chief Justice (CJ) Islamabad High Court (IHC) Athar Minallah has remarked the government should review its decision on evacuation of Pakistani citizens stranded in China due to Coronavirus.

He further remarked all the countries including Bangladesh are evacuating their citizens from China and our question is this why only we are not evacuating our citizens.

Petition filed by Mian Faisal advocate with regard to evacuation of Pakistanis stranded in China in the aftermath of spread of Coronavirus came up for hearing before CJ Islamabad High Court on Tuesday.

The representatives of ministry of health and foreign affairs appeared before the court.

The Director General foreign ministry presented a written report from China in the court.

The government representative told the court 23 out of 194 countries have evacuated their citizens from China.

The CJ remarked that Pakistani students are stranded in China, if 23 countries can make arrangements for protection of their citizens then why not Pakistan. He suggested that we can keep the infected students near Gawadar, emphasising that full endeavours should be made. The representative of foreign ministry told the court there is no restriction on movement of citizens from and to China, while screening is conducted at airports. China has completely locked down its city Wuhan, which is affected by Coronavirus where 1,000 of Pakistanis are living.

Chinese foreign minister has assured Shah Mehmood Qureshi Pakistanis will be provided full care. The CJ inquired will our relations with China be affected if we evacuate our citizens.

Representative of foreign ministry told the court Bangladesh has withdrawn its decision of evacuating its citizens from China, adding that foreign ministry is monitoring this situation and whatever decision is taken will be in the interest of country and students.

The CJ inquired will government of Pakistan give affidavit as to who will be responsible if anything happens due to non-evacuation of Pakistani citizens from China. The court adjourned the hearing of the case for one week.

The foreign ministry representative told the court we had asked Chinese government to allow our ambassador to visit Wuhan city and Chinese government had replied they could not take risk of any sort.

The court remarked that it wants state should take responsibility of its citizens that if something happens with any Pakistani citizen then who will be responsible.