Pakistan's apex court moved to extend refugees' stay
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Pakistan's apex court has been moved to extend by a year in the deadline for the repatriation of Afghan refugees from the country.
Advocate Zulfikar Ahmed Bhutta approached the Supreme Court under its original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court for the enforcement of fundamental rights.
The applican requested the top court to restrain police , law-enforcement agencies and members of the judiciary from purchasing assets of Afghan nationals at dirt-cheap prices.
He prayed the court to order the refugees commissioner of Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP) to maintain complete record of government officials who have purchased properties from Afghan refugees after Jan 1.
Known for pleading high-profile cases, Bhutta told Dawn his friends in Peshawar had told him due to harassment of refugees , they were selling their properties and vehicles at throwaway prices.
He also referred to an article accusing police and other law-enforcement agencies in Peshawar of refusing to comply with the federal government’s order against the arrest or harassment of Afghan refugees.
Cabinet and foreign affairs secretaries, chief secretary, KP and Punjab police chiefs, as well as the director general of the Federal Investigation Agency and the Afghan refugees commissioner, are respondents in the case.
The petitioner suggested the government should extend the repatriation date by another five years for those refugees who have established businesses in Pakistan with an investment of not less than Rs20 million.
Similarly, the Supreme Court was prayed to order the government to allow the Afghan refugees who have immovable properties worth Rs10m to stay in Pakistan for another two years.
The petitioner has asked the apex court to order the government to extend the stipulated time for Afghan refugees to leave Pakistan, registered or unregistered, to December 2017.
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