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Saturday November 27, 2021

Place Shehbaz on ECL, says cabinet panel

A sub-committee of the federal cabinet has accepted a request sent by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seeking placement of PMLN President Shehbaz Sharif's name on the Exit Control List (ECL)

May 13, 2021

ISLAMABAD: A sub-committee of the federal cabinet has accepted a request sent by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seeking placement of PMLN President Shehbaz Sharif's name on the Exit Control List (ECL), Minister for Interior Shaikh Rashid said.

Addressing a press conference, Sheikh Rashid a three-member sub-committee unanimously recommended to the cabinet to add Shehbaz’ name to the ECL. He said the committee including Minister for Law Farogh Naseem, Minister for Interior (himself) and Adviser to Prime Minister on Accountability Shehzad Akbar met at the NAB request, which is pursuing cases against the leader of the opposition in the national Assembly.

The interior minister said that NAB recommendations were reviewed in the meeting of sub-committee. It was decided to forward the name of PMLN President Shehbaz Sharif to the federal cabinet for final approval.

He said that PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif might file a review petition within 15 days with the interior ministry. Sheikh Rashid said that Shehbaz Sharif might personally appear in this matter and Interior Ministry would decide it within 90 days.

About placing Shehbaz's name on a ‘blacklist’, the minister said that it was not the case at all as the court's decision came with regard to a blacklist and Shehbaz Sharif was not on a blacklist. The interior minister said that there were three lists used to prevent someone from travelling abroad: one is the black list, into which someone's name is included by the Passport Office; the second is Provincial Identification List (PNIL), into which someone's name is added by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA); and the third is the Exit Control List (ECL) and in this regard the federal cabinet has the authority to put someone's name.

Sh Rashid said that the interior ministry "received no request (for permission to travel)" and "nothing stating medical grounds", whereas past requests had cited medical grounds. Adviser to Prime Minister on Accountability Shehzad Akbar said the former Punjab chief minister is facing various corruption cases, which could face delay if he goes abroad.

Talking about Hudaibya Papers Mills case, he said that the Sharif brothers were not acquitted in the case but it was closed for technical reasons and was not pursued. “Any case can be reopened on the basis of `new found evidence,” he said and termed the arguments of PMLN in this regard misguiding.

Shehzad Akbar said that the Hudaibya Papers Mills case is not factually over and legal team has reviewed its various aspects. He said that Sharif Empire was created through money laundering in 90s and after 2000.

Minister for Interior also endorsed the arguments of Shehzad Akbar and said that Shehbaz Sharif attempted to flee because he was scared from reopening of Hudaibya Papers Mills’ case. To a question about progress on the review of a ban on the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, he said they (TLP) was allowed to appear in person to request a review." Rashid said that 1,677 of those TLP workers detained under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) have been released. The minister said there are 280 FIRs registered against TLP and people nominated in those will "undergo the legal process.

To another question, the minister said that around 1,100 Pakistani prisoners would be brought back from Saudi Arabia and shifted to local jails in Pakistan. He said that 22 detainees involved in drugs-related cases and eight others facing murder charges would not be brought back. The minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan has been requested to provide one billion rupees for paying fines of those hundreds of prisoners, detained since 2005 on trivial charges, to get them released and shift them back.

The minister also strongly condemned Israeli airstrikes on Gaza that resulted in deaths and injuries to Palestinian civilians, including children. Regarding relationship with Saudi Arabia, he said that Mohammed bin Salman is real friend of Pakistan and the visit to Saudi Arabia remained very fruitful.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has the great love for Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and he along with his delegation walked barefooted in Madina.