Reply sought from federal govt

Dec 11,2009 The Nation

LAHORE – The Lahore High Court on Thursday asked the federal government to precisely inform the court on December 21 as to how the case of release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui be proceeded in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The court passed this order after the Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Naveed Inayat Malik on behalf of the federal government had told that Dr Aafia’s case could not be moved to ICJ because she had been arrested in Afghanistan and it was not agreed by that country to move it the ICJ, a pre-requisite under the international law.
The DAG, however, admitted that a friendship treaty existed between Pakistan and the US but the Afghanistan government was a hurdle in the way.
Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry disapproving this stance observed that apparently the foreign ministry was speaking the US language.
The circumstantial evidences and several media reports say that Dr Aafia was arrested from Karachi and later handed over to America by Pakistani government, the judge further observed.
The judge adjourned the hearing of a contempt petition till December 21, seeking repatriation of Dr Aafia, and asked the DAG to tell the court about upshots if government had moved ICJ regarding subject matter after fulfilling all legal implications but the ICJ had dismissed the plea.
Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffree, who filed the petition, submitted that the court had earlier directed the government to take action for the release and repatriation of Dr Aafia but it did not comply with court orders. He said the court had also asked the government to move International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the release of Dr Aafia but the government was vain to do so.

Barrister Iqbal said the government had engaged a panel of US lawyers on a hefty fee for contesting case of Dr Afia but had not bothered to move ICJ, which cost nothing.
He prayed to the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against respondents for defying court orders.

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