ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday directed the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development to submit its written reply about the mechanism developed to help the overseas Pakistanis in their litigations in land disputes.

A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice AtharMinallah issued these directions while hearing of a petition of overseas Pakistani ZahidaJavedAslam who cited the Secretary Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development and chairman Overseas Pakistanis Foundation as respondents.

In her petition, Zahida raised grievances and alleged that she has been defrauded.

During the hearing, representatives of Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) were present. The bench directed the Ministry to inform the court before the next hearing that what procedure it had adopted to remove the grievances of the overseas Pakistanis.

The IHC CJ remarked that the assets and lands of overseas Pakistanis are being grabbed and asked from the representatives that how their departments are working to mitigate their problems.

At this, the law officer of OPF told the court that in this regard, they established a complaint cell in 2011 to redress the issues of overseas Pakistanis.

Then, the CJ asked from him that whether they contacted the petitioner and expressed his annoyance when the law officer replied that they had not contacted the affected woman. He observed that their system is not working.

The law officer further informed that their focal persons are working in 19 countries to redress the problems of the overseas Pakistanis. He added that they have no power of decision in these matters.

Justice Athar remarked that the court is not asking you to decide the matters but try to resolve their issues. Then he asked that whether do you have lists of complaints of overseas Pakistanis in your Islamabad office. The office replied in negative and the judge remarked that if you do not have the list it means the OPF is not doing its work properly.

The IHC CJ said that this case is a test case for OPF. He maintained that this court would not affect the rights of any people but it should be informed about the ground realities.

Then the court directed the representatives to inform that whether there is any mechanism in place whereby such like grievances submitted by the Overseas Pakistanis are processed and followed by appropriate action.

Later, the court deferred the hearing till July 9 for further proceedings in this matter.

On the previous hearing, the IHC bench had noted that courts of Islamabad Capital Territory are inundated with litigation relating to the Overseas Pakistanis and the right of access to justice of overseas Pakistanis appears to be violated because of their inability to resolve disputes.