Thursday May 26, 2022

September 16, 2015

Nisar announces new ECL policy, launches SMS service for passports

ISLAMABAD: Unveiling a new Exit Control List (ECL) policy, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday announced removal of over 65,000 names from the ECL and Black List.

Speaking at press conference after launching a new Passport SMS Service here, he said a separate ECL policy would be formulated for foreigners.

Giving the breakup, the interior minister said 4,987 names have been deleted from the ECL and only those persons retained on the list whose period of placement was less than three years and or those who were involved in anti-state activities, terrorism or were related to proscribed organisations and those placed on the orders of superior courts.

In addition, he said 59,603 persons placed on the Black List have been removed. Their details included 22, 491 deleted completely, 9,660 shifted to Passport Control List (PCL) and 27,452 placed on Visa Control List (VCL).

He said in future people would be placed on the ECL only on the recommendations of defence institutions, intelligence agencies, high courts and the Supreme Court.

The people belonging to proscribed organisations, accused of drug trafficking and those involved in spying against the country would never be allowed to travel abroad, he added.

The minister said The ECL was not a ‘joke’. “Unfortunately people were being barred to fly abroad over petty domestic issues in the past”, he added.

There was no rule or policy for putting people on the no-fly list, he said lamenting that a respectable persons had been on the ECL since 1980s.

Nisar said corruption in NADRA would not be overlooked, adding that 138 employees had been sacked under the charges of corruption and issuance of fake identity cards.

Giving out details of the new SMS service for passports, Chaudhry Nisar said the service has been introduced to provide information about travelling documents and to deliver them at the doorstep of applicants.

He said the applicants would be kept informed about the delivery of passports through SMS (short message service) and frequent visits of the office would not be necessary anymore.

Applicants would also be able to give their feedback and suggestions through SMS in order to further improve the passport making procedure, he added.

The minister said more than 73 new passport offices have been established all over the country while efforts were underway to improve services on fast-track basis. The new offices, he added, were being fully equipped with provision of all facilities.

Lauding efforts of his party’s government, Nisar said the same NADRA that suffered Rs 1.2 billion losses during Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) regime has now registered a Rs5 billion profit.