Man moves court to bring back Pakistani pilgrims in Iran

March 31, 2020

ISLAMABAD : A man has filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court asking the government to bring back the Pakistani pilgrims stuck in Iran.

Syed Nasir Abbas Sherazi, the chairperson of the Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen Pakistan, filed the

petition on Tuesday. His lawyer Fida Hussain Rana submitted it. The petition has named the government, the interior, foreign affairs, and defence ministries along with PEMRA as respondents. It says that many Pakistanis travel to holy shrines in Iran, Iraq and Syria for ziarat and they are given visas that last from 15 days to a month.

Many Pakistanis have been left stranded after the government decided to cancel all international

flights to stop the spread of coronavirus. Pakistan, however, sent special planes to the people

stuck in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Europe. The visas of the Pakistanis in Iran have “expired and are about to expire and yet they are waiting,” the petition adds. It argues that their lives have been placed at risk because of the government’s lack of willingness to bring them back. The petition claims that pilgrims from Iran have been held responsible for “spreading coronavirus” in Pakistan. It, however, adds that it was not the people’s fault but “wrong decisions” made by the government. When pilgrims started returning via Taftan border there were no basic facilities for theirscreening because of which the people of Pakistan “were forcibly made privy to the said life- threatening coronavirus”, the petition states. It even said that some people and media channels tried to give the spread of coronavirus the “colour of sectarian directions”. The petition asks the government to bring back the pilgrims and test them.