Wednesday May 31, 2023

Govt removes PM Shehbaz Sharif, Nawaz's names from ECL: sources

Names of Punjab CM Hamza Shehbaz, Maryam Nawaz, former PM Khaqan Abbasi and Ahsan Iqbal no longer on no-fly list

By Azaz Syed
April 24, 2022
PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif (R) and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (L). — AFP/ file
PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif (R) and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (L). — AFP/ file

ISLAMABAD: The names of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, his son and Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz have been removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) under a new policy of the incumbent government, Geo News reported, citing sources privy to the matter.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Friday said that the newly elected government had brought about changes in the rules for placing an individual's name on the no-fly list, and through it, several thousands of people will have their names removed from the list.

Sources within the government said that former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Ahsan Iqbal are also among the individuals whose names have been removed from the ECL.

They said that the process of removing names from the list under the new policy will continue for the next few days.

Earlier, the new federal cabinet, in its maiden session on Wednesday, had granted approval to remove Finance Minister Miftah Ismail’s name from the no-fly list.

PM Shehbaz forms committee to update ECL rules

Addressing a press conference, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Friday had said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had formed a committee to update the rules of including a person's name in the ECL.

"Therefore, with a quick pace, federal minister Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Asad Mehmood, Naveed Qamar, and Azam Nazeer Tarrar put forth their suggestions and the cabinet has approved it," Sanaullah had said.

The interior minister had said if a person's name has been on the exit list for more than 120 days, it would be automatically removed. "...a total of 4,863 are in the list, and with this intervention, around 3,000 people's names have been removed."

He had said the government could extend the duration of the cap by 90 days if it believes there is evidence against a person.

"The government will have to present the said evidence before the ECL committee, and once they approve it, the duration will be moved forward".

Sanaullah had said the following people would not be exempted:

  • Individuals involved in terrorism
  • People considered a threat to national security
  • If their names have been added to ECL by any court
  • People involved in large-scale public cheating.

Moving on, the interior minister had said 30,000 people were placed on the black list and the Provisional National Identification List (PNIL). He added that since the number of people on the lists is huge, there will be changes to them as well in the next few weeks.

Sanaullah had said that since 60-65% of the people have been removed from the ECL, a similar move would be made in regards to the other lists as well.