ISLAMABAD: Holding the Ministry of Interior responsible for Pakistani prisoners’ death in jails of foreign countries, the Supreme Court on Monday took it to task over the slow progress in the matter pertaining to repatriation of Pakistanis languishing in foreign jails.
“What needed to be done about Pakistanis languishing in foreign jails? Will only dead bodies of Pakistanis be brought from abroad, questioned Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, who headed a three-judge bench of the apex court.
Earlier, the bench took strong exception to the absence of the interior secretary and directed him to turn up immediately.
“We give you a contempt of court notice,” Justice Saeed observed, addressing the interior secretary after he showed up in the court. “We also summon [Minister of State for Interior] Shehryar Afridi.”
He asked the secretary to look for other jobs. “If you are punished for contempt of court you would lose job.”
The judge asked the secretary to explain as to what the government had done so far to repatriate Pakistanis languishing in foreign jails.
Justice Ejazul Ahsan, a member of the bench, said as many as 423 Pakistanis were imprisoned in UK jails while Pakistani nationals were also jailed in Thai prisons.
Referring to the death of a Pakistani national, Shakirullah, inside an Indian jail lately, Justice Faisal Arab, another bench member, remarked the deceased remained imprisoned there for 16 years but his dead boy was brought back home.
The interior secretary said the government was bringing amendments to laws dealing with repatriation of overseas Pakistanis in jails of foreign countries, to which the bench said there was a need to change him not the laws.