The Mass Deportation Drive Against Afghan Refugees Challenged Before the SC U/A 184(3): Petition by a Broad Coalition of Eminent Pakistanis
A broad coalition of eminent citizens of Pakistan, through counsel Mr. Umer Ijaz Gilani (ASC), has approached the Honorable Supreme Court through a petition under article 184(3) Constitution, 1973, challenging the Caretaker Government’s unconstitutional, illegal and inhumane policy of refoulement of at-risk asylum seekers and refugees residing in Pakistan since the past several decades. Not only is this policy beyond the mandate of the Caretaker Government provided in Section 230 of the Elections Act, 2017, it is draconian and in contravention of national and international law. Whereas the decision to expel those whose refugee/asylum cases/applications are pending with the UNHCR is against the law as enunciated in judicial pronouncements [Raheel Azizi v. State (W.P. 1666/2023) and Aamir Aman vs. Federation of Pakistan (PLD 2020 Sindh 533)]. It has been observed that under the garb of expelling only those who do not possess legal documentation, those who do infact possess PoR Cards and other relevant documentation are too being harassed, detained and expelled. The forceful banishing of a people, including women and children, several of whom have been born on Pakistani soil and are citizens of Pakistan by virtue of Section 4 of the Citizenship Act, 1951, and identify as Afghan only on the basis of ethnicity, from a place they so endearingly call home, is unprecedented. Such an arbitrary policy exhibits the sheer highhandedness of a State seemingly undeterred in demonizing a people on the basis of ethnicity, and raises a grave apprehension for each citizen of Pakistan who is now left at the mercy of a State which sacrifices equality, justice and fundamental human rights at the altar of ethnicity, caste and creed. It is nothing less than a crime to remain silent over the refoulement of fellow humans to imminent misery and persecution. The Petitioners repose their trust in the Honorable Supreme Court to secure the life, liberty and dignity of all asylum seekers and refugees in Pakistan and their children who are citizens of Pakistan by birth right, and take to task the State for defiling the sanctity of human life and fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution, 1973. The Petitioners also seek directions to the UNHCR and the international community to fulfill their duty and commitment to speedily process all pending cases of asylum seekers/refugees.
|Senator (r.) Farhatullah Babar||Senator Mushtaq Ahmed|
|Amina Masood Janjua||Mohsin Dawar|
|Mohammad Jibran Nasir||Rohail Kasi|
|Syed Muaz Shah||Pastor Ghazala Parveen|
|Iman Zainab Mazari||Ahmad Shabbar|
|Advocate Imran Shafiq||Luke Victor|