PESHAWAR: A senior lawyer on Friday moved the Peshawar High Court seeking directives for the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments to regulate the life, employment and businesses of Afghan nationals in the country and deport illegal refugees to their country.

Mohammad Moazzam Butt requested the court in a petition to direct the respondents, including the relevant federal and provincial departments, to regulate the life of Afghan refugees in Pakistan in line with the local law, restrict their movement, and check businesses of those without licence or work permit.

He prayed the court to ask the respondents to deport illegal Afghan refugees to their country run by an elected government under the watch of international governments and organisations.

Lawyer also seeks orders for return of refugees

The petitioner said as interim relief, the court should direct the provincial inspector general of police, home secretary and

commissioner for Afghan refugees to restrict the movement of Afghan refugees to their lawful domain and stop Afghans from doing business without licence, permit or lawful authority until the decision of the petition.

The respondents in the petition are the federal government through interior secretary, the defence ministry through its secretary, state and frontier region secretary, provincial chief secretary and home secretary, commissioner for Afghan refugees, and provincial inspector general of police.

Mr Butt said Afghan citizens had retained freedom from Soviet Union long ago and therefore, they’re required to return but they chose not to do so and thus, causing multidimensional law and order situation in Pakistan.

He claimed that Pakistanis had fundamental rights to life, liberty, security and property in the country but the government was not acting as required to address the cause.

The petitioner said in almost every country of the world, the foreigners could conduct businesses only if they were granted work permits.

“In that regard, this court may be required to determine that under what authority the Afghan refugees are

conducting business or running shops or are directly or indirectly related to any type of business concerns in Pakistan without legal permits and thus, causing adverse effect to Pakistani economy and compelling the citizens of this country to live in poverty,” he said.

The petitioner said the federal government and other respondents should determine under what authority of law, Afghan refugees lived in Pakistan when an elected government had been established in Afghanistan and the social order had been restored there.

He added that the respondents were legally bound to regulate the life of Afghan refugees in Pakistan in order to protect the life, liberty and property of Pakistani citizens.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2019