LAHORE - LHC Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah yesterday gave two weeks time to the federal government to inform the court about what relief it could provide to the Pakistanis detained abroad.

The judge also asked if there was any policy of the state regarding the protection of its citizens sending huge money to the country. He passed this order while hearing several petitions filed by families of migrants’ workers.

The relatives of migrants had filed petitions through Justice Project Pakistan (JPP) and pointed out that the government did not provide consular support and assistance to Pakistani citizens facing execution in Gulf countries. The petitioners also included those families whose loved ones had recently been beheaded in Saudi Arabia but they had yet to receive their bodies.

During the arguments, the judge asked the government to provide record of implementation, and JPP to give a list of the shortcoming of the guidelines and consular policies of other states for comparison for the next hearing.

At this, the counsel for the government said that these were autonomous countries, “where we cannot interfere in their internal affairs”.

Upon this, Sameer Khosa, the appointed amicus curiae by the judge, argued that if the government could support Zaid Hamid and Moeed Pirzada, then why could they not make an effort for the repatriation of common Pakistanis?

The judge raised the question towards the respondent, asking whether the petitioners should have been media personnel’s to be granted these rights.

The petitioners’ counsel argued that the constitutional duties of the government of Pakistan to uphold the fundamental rights and protect the lives of its citizens were not limited to the geographic boundaries of the country.

Out of 8597 Pakistanis imprisoned abroad, 4357 were in six Gulf countries, where they were the most deprived of even their fundamental rights, the petitioners further said.

They prayed the court to order the government to provide them legal assistance and take steps to protect the citizens of Pakistan.

BANNED OUTFITS: The Supreme Court yesterday directed the provincial prosecution department to submit without any delay the challan of eleven members of banned outfits before a special court established under Protection of Pakistan Act.

The hearing was adjourned for two weeks.