Published On: Fri, Jan 11th, 2019
Published in Category: Islamabad

Federal Cabinet rules out request by Interior Ministry to remove names of suspects from ECL

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Islamabad: Federal Cabinet has ruled out a request by the Interior Ministry to remove names of twenty suspects from the Exit Control List (ECL) in the fake bank accounts case. This was stated by Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain while addressing a news briefing about Federal Cabinet’s decisions in Islamabad on Thursday.

He said since the list includes the names of several PPP big wigs and others who are directly involved in fake bank accounts and money laundering matters, the Cabinet decided to constitute a committee to review the matter.

The minister said the Law Ministry informed the cabinet that no formal or written verdict has yet been received from the Supreme Court on the subject so any further proceedings about the ECL issue should be deferred for the time being.

Chaudhry said a cabinet committee has been formed, which includes Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Dr Farogh Naseem, Minister of State for Interior Shahryar Afridi, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Accountability Shahzad Akbar and the Interior Secretary Azam Suleman Khan. This committee will review the issues pertaining to the 172 names, looking at the roles of each person, following which it will present its recommendations to the cabinet.

The minister added that once the written orders of the SC are issued, the cabinet will also seek the committee’s guidance regarding whether a review appeal of the court order should be submitted or not.

He stated that cabinet noted with satisfaction that the countries’ exports increased by 4. 5 percent during the month of December while the trade deficit reduced up to five hundred forty million dollars, having a very pleasant impact on the national economy. He said it was the outcome of Prime Minister and his economic team’s extensive and prudent efforts to deal with the current account and fiscal deficit issues with the active support of friendly countries. He said government’s efforts to boost exports and reduce imports have also been fruitful. Information Minister

On the recommendations of the JIT, the federal cabinet had in its meeting on Dec 27 last year decided to place the names of 172 individuals on the ECL, including Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Faryal Talpur, Murad Ali Shah, Farooq H. Naek and several other leaders and provincial ministers belonging to the PPP.

But the apex court had asked the federal cabinet to reconsider the decision in its next meeting and decide the matter after due application of mind instead of merely relying on the JIT recommendations. “The JIT report is not a holy scripture, ” the chief justice had observed, adding that a sitting chief minister was being stigmatised.

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