IHC rejects plea seeking pilgrims return from Iran

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court declared a plea seeking the return of stranded Pakistani pilgrims in Iran non-maintainable as the country continued to see a rise in the coronavirus cases.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minullah heard the plea submitted by Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen leader Syed Nasir Abbas Sherazi.
The petitioner had pleaded that thousands of Pakistani pilgrims are stranded in Iran and the impression is being created here that all the problems related to coronavirus in the country are due to them. To which the court enquired if the petitioner had approached the Foreign Office in this regard.
Justice Minullah remarked: “Trust the government as the entire world is facing the coronavirus pandemic.”
The IHC top judge asked the petitioner to approach the concerned authorities over the matter as it falls under the domain of the foreign ministry.
He said that it is a matter that transcends boundaries and a court cannot intervene in such issues, adding that the impression the government is not taking appropriate measures for its nationals in incorrect.
The court, subsequently, dismissed the petition, declaring it non-maintainable.
On March 30, the IHC had set aside a petition seeking an inquiry into whether the coronavirus spread in Pakistan due to lax controls at the quarantine center established in Taftan, with its top judge saying that this was not the time to suspect the intentions of the state.
Opponents of the government are criticising it for “not doing enough” to quarantine pilgrims returning from Iran at a makeshift facility established in Balochistan. In March, Pakistan saw an uptick in the coronavirus cases after pilgrims returned to the country via Taftan border.