KARACHI: The Pakistani government is extending all-out legal assistance to journalist Faizullah Khan in an Afghanistan high court, which is set to hear the appeal next week against his four-year conviction for illegally crossing the border.
The foreign affairs ministry disclosed this before the Sindh High Court (SHC) bench which was hearing petition filed by the journalist’s wife seeking his recovery from the custody of Afghan security forces.
Faizullah, a Karachi-based reporter for a local news television channel, had gone missing from the tribal areas on April 22 during a reporting trip.
The foreign affairs ministry informed the two-judge bench that it was making all-out efforts to seek his release. The Pakistani consul general has hired the services of an Afghan law firm in Jalalabad to file an appeal against the conviction, it submitted.
According to the ministry, the Pakistani consulate has also paid $1,000 to the law firm, which would plead the government’s appeal against Faizullah’s conviction before the Nangarhar High Court. The consul general has also met with the Chief Justice of the Nangarhar High Court and also discussed the matter with Afghan government authorities at different levels to secure his release from jail. The Afghan Chief of Protocol has also made an assurance regarding Faizullah’s freedom.
Ministry representatives informed the judges that the Pakistani ambassador has also discussed the matter with the Afghan foreign affairs minister and requested his government to release Faizullah on a humanitarian basis.
The division bench directed the federal government to arrange a meeting of the family with Faizullah in Afghanistan. It also disposed of the petition in view of the submissions and undertakings made by the foreign affairs ministry for the release of the petitioner’s husband.