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Pakistan to deport 229 foreign prisoners

Written by: Staff
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Islamabad, Apr 19 (UNI) Pakistan's Supreme Court has directed the Foreign Ministry to make arrangements to deport all 229 foreign prisoners barring those who are involved in drug trafficking crimes.

''These prisoners should be deported by seeking cooperation from their respective embassies and non-governmental organisations as soon as possible,'' Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) quoted a three-member bench of the court as saying.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar and Justice Saiyed Saeed Ashhad also directed officials of the Foreign and Interior Ministries to submit complete lists of all the 229 foreign prisoners with details of their crimes and categories.

Assistant Advocate General, Punjab, Ms Afshan Ghazanfar appeared before the court on notice and presented a report regarding foreign prisoners, who are being kept in different jails of Punjab province.

This case was taken up by the Supreme Court on the application submitted by 13 Bangladeshi prisoners, including Munir Ahmed who has already completed his sentence awarded by different courts in different cases, said the news agency.

Majority of these foreign prisoners who have already completed their sentence for various crimes and have valid travelling documents are unable to pay for their travelling expenditures.

Respective embassies of these foreign prisoners are not cooperating with the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan and are even reluctant to own them, Deputy Attorney General informed the Court.

Giving warning to the ministries and departments concerned, the court said, ''This issue is very serious. We will never allow to keep them (foreign prisoners) in jails.'' The court also ruled and directed the ministries to contact their respective embassies for ensuring speedy deportation.

''Make all possible arrangements to deport them even with the financial support of Bait-ul-Mal and NGOs,'' it said.

The prisoners are from Bangladesh, Nigeria, Kenya and other countries.

UNI XC SK RS1521

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