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PHC puts KP, Centre on notice in ECL case

By Bureau report
June 13, 2024
The Peshawar High Court (PHC) building in Peshawar. — PHC website
The Peshawar High Court (PHC) building in Peshawar. — PHC website

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has issued notices to the authorities concerned in a petition filed against the inclusion of Azhar Mashwani, the social media head of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) name, in the Exit Control List (ECL) and the Provisional National Identification List (PNIL).

The court has directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the regional director of the immigration and passport, the IG of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and both federal and provincial governments to reply within seven days.

A two-member bench comprising Justice SM Attiq Shah and Justice Waqar Ahmad heard the case. Advocate Syed Sikandar Shah represented the petitioner Azhar Mashwani.

Mashwani, who is in charge of PTI’s social media team, fled to Dubai following violent protests after the arrest of PTI chairman Imran Khan in May. Later, several cases were registered against him, and his name was added to the ECL and PNIL.

Advocate Shah informed the court that Mashwani wished to return to Pakistan but could not do so because his passport had expired, and he could not obtain a new one due to his inclusion in the lists.

He argued that Mashwani was willing to surrender to the courts in Pakistan and face the charges against him, but the refusal to issue a new passport due to his political affiliation was preventing his return.

The lawyer requested the court to order the removal of Mashwani’s name from the ECL and PNIL and to direct the authorities to issue a new passport so he can come back to Pakistan and address the legal cases.