Child born in Pakistan has right to citizenship, observes SC

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court observed on Tuesday that every child born in Pakistan had the right to the country’s citizenship, warning that suspecting someone's citizenship was a serious violation of human rights

The bench led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial heard the suo moto case regarding the issues facing the Hazara community

The bench raised the question, why the Hazara community was being discriminated

Sitting on the bench, Justice Athar Minallah asked whether the Hazara community was satisfied with the present situation and whether the concerns expressed by the community had been redressed

In response, the additional advocate general of Balochistan informed the court that the concerns of the Hazara community had decreased and the conditions were much better now than in the past

The lawyer for the Hazara community also informed the court that there had been a lot of improvement in the law and order situation, particularly the incidents of target killing, after the government action

However, he mentioned that the members of the Hazara community were worried about the imposition of unnecessary conditions by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and the Passport Office

He told the bench that Hazara people required signature from either a member of the National Assembly or the provincial assembly to get their passports

On that Justice Minallah asked: “Why is the Hazara community being discriminated against

” The judge gave the observation that the people from the Hazara community were also Pakistanis and stressed that anyone who had the national identity card was a Pakistani citizen

Read more: Pakistan-born Afghan denied citizenship Why were the people from the Hazara community being harassed by imposing such conditions, Justice Athar Manullah asked

He said that doubting someone's citizenship was a serious violation of the person’s human rights

The judge also mentioned that the identity card of Hafiz Hamdullah (a Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam leader, who served as a senator from 2012-18) was cancelled after declaring him as an Afghan, while Hafiz Hamdullah's son was in the army

Every child born in Pakistan had the right to citizenship,” Justice Athar Manullah observed

Chief Justice Badial added that citizenship was a precious birth right of every person

Justice Minullah further said that it was the federal government’s right to decide about the citizenship and not NADRA

The NADRA Act did not allow the review of citizenship, he said, adding how could NADRA check someone's citizenship

Additional Attorney General Shafqat Abbasi told the court that Hazara community had the same requirements as any citizens of the country for getting the identity card and passport

If a citizen fulfilled even one of those conditions, an identity card was issued, Abbasi told the court

On that the chief justice ordered for the review if there were instances of transgression of authority

Later, the lawyer for the Hazara community raised the issue of missing person

He told the court that Ali Raza, a member of the Hazari community who went missing in 2013, had not been recovered yet despite the payment of Rs10 million ransom

The lawyer also informed the court that the person, who was allegedly paid the ransom amount for the recovery of Raza had been acquitted by the trial court concerned

Justice Manullah asked why couldn’t the state recover its own citizens

The chief justice, while addressing Ali Raza's wife in the courtroom, said that the court would get her husband back soon

He sought reports from the interior ministry and the defence ministry regarding non-recovery of Raza and adjourned the hearing for a month

Date:22-Feb-2023 Reference:View Original Link