Pak Govt gets time to answer petition against US drone attacks

Lahore: A Pakistani court on Friday gave the federal government another opportunity to submit its reply to a petition filed by Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed seeking the implementation of a parliamentary resolution against US drone attacks.

Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed of the Lahore High Court was informed that a Deputy Attorney General was to represent the government in court but failed to appear as he was unwell.

The judge was requested by the government to give it time to submit a response and he postponed the hearing of the petition till October 13.

During several recent hearings, the court had given opportunities to the government to file its response but it had disregarded the court's directions.

The petition was filed by Saeed through his counsel A K Dogar.

Saeed asked the court to direct the government to make public information in all matters of public importance, especially "secret deals" with the US.

He further asked the court to declare that pre-emptive strikes on Pakistani soil by foreign countries are not permitted by international law and therefore, everyone had the right to claim to be protected.

The JuD chief contended that the resolution passed by a joint session of the two houses of parliament after the US raid against Osama bin Laden in May was the voice of the people and needs to be implemented.

Saeed's counsel Dogar told the court that the President, Prime Minister and all state functionaries should be made to follow the simple life of Prophet Mohammed and asked to vacate their official residences.