SC Stops Authorities From Expelling an Afghan Citizen:

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monยญday stopped authorities from expelling an Afghanistan-born Danish citizen from Pakistan after the security agencies objected to the renewal of his Pakistan Origin Card (POC).

Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa, a three-member SC bench also directed the Inter-Services Intelliยญgence (ISI), the premier intelligence agency, to furnish within a month a report detailing reasons for denial of POC to the foreigner, Hidayatullah, who married a Pakistani woman from Mardan.

Advocate Afnan Kundi representing the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) earlier told the court that Hidayatullah had moved an application for the renewal of the POC before the authority, but he was denied the card because it was opposed by the ISI.

The counsel, however, explained that a POC was issued to foreigners who got married to a Pakistani national though such a card was not issued to a citizen who belongs to India or any enemy country.

The foreignerโ€™s POC had expired back in 2019-20, Advocate Kundi apprised the bench.

At this, the CJP wondered whether the applicant was involved in any terrorist activity. He also sought reasons behind the objections to the renewal of his POC.

Additional Attorney General (AAG) Chaudhry Aamir Rehman told the apex court that the foreigner had provided only the names of his immediate family members, but not other details such as their addresses.

Justice Athar Minallah, who was a member of the bench, wondered whether any complaint had ever been registered against the foreigner. He said to suspect someone without any reason was against the fundamental rights of the people.

Justice Minallah said the wife and children of the applicant lived in Pakistan.

The chief justice wondered if the ISI had any solid evidence against the petitionerโ€™s husband. While pointing towards the AAG, the CJP remarked what was happening in Chaman and Torkham โ€” border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan โ€” whether people were allowed to enter or blocked on different considerations without proof.

The AAG then informed the court that the siblings of the applicant reportedly lived in Kabul and Logar, Afghanistan.

At one point during the hearing when the foreigner tried to interject, CJP Isa, pointing towards his wife, asked whether her husband listened to her at home, as โ€œheโ€™s not listening to usโ€. When the woman responded in affirmative, the CJP said he could live in Pakistan till the time he was faithful to his Pakistani wife.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2023

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