Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s government has changed the rules controlling citizens’ exit from the country following which 3000 names were struck off from the black list also known as Exit Control List (ECL).
This is in an attempt to end the practice of keeping people on the no-fly list for years and even for over a decade.
Rana Sanaullah, Pakistan’s interior minister, said a person’s name put on the Exit Control List (ECL) would automatically be removed after 120 days. However, the duration can be extended for another 90 days if there is concrete evidence, reported Dawn.
The minister said that currently names of 4,863 people were on the ECL and the amendments would benefit around 3,000 of them.
The automatic omission from ECL will not apply to cases of terrorism, heinous crimes and threat to national security, cases forwarded by registrars of the Supreme Court, high courts and banking courts, drug trafficking, Ponzi schemes and cheating public at large.
In addition to that, people involved in Ponzi schemes and cheating the public at large involving hundreds of affectees can also be placed on the ECL from now on.
The changes have been made to Rule 2 of Exit from Pakistan (Control) Rules, which define grounds to prohibit a person from going abroad. A new rule (4-A) has been added under which a representation seeking review will be decided within 30 days.
Moreover, the black list, which currently had names of over 30,000 people, would also be reviewed, the minister said, expressing hope that the task would be done within weeks. He said that on the directives of PM Sharif, fool-proof security was being provided to former Prime Minister Imran Khan. “The security, as approved by the former PM’s principal secretary Azam Khan, is being provided to Imran Khan,” he said, as per the newspaper.
Sanaullah said the former premier had written to the government seeking fool-proof security in the wake of threats to his life.