MULTAN: A local court on Saturday directed the government to submit a report on Monday in connection with the post-arrest bail application of two Afghan refugees.

Barkat Khan and Barullah, both residents of Afghanistan, had filed a petition in the district and sessions court through their counsel Advocate Shahbaz Ali Khan Gurmani, stating that a first information report had been lodged against them by Kotwali police on May 27 under Section 14 of the Foreigners Act 1946 alleging that they were residing in Pakistan illegally.

They stated that they had filed their post-arrest bail in the court of area magistrate, which was rejected on May 30 in haste without going through facts. They said they were falsely implicated in the case as they did not commit any offense and were registered as Afghan refugees in Pakistan. The National Database and Registration Authority also had issued the Proof of Registration cards to them, which were still valid, they claimed.

They further stated that senior joint secretary of the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions had also issued a notification on Oct 3, 2018 for the extension of validity of their cards, while there were several other notifications in this regard.

They said they had great respect for all the laws of Pakistan because it was the only country providing shelter to Afghan refugees, adding that investigation against them has already been completed by the police and they were no more required for further investigation.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Shamshad Ali Rana, while issuing notice to the state, fixed June 3 as the next date of hearing.

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2019

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