Names of PM Shehbaz, Nawaz removed from no-fly list: sources

The newly elected government has removed the names of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shahbaz, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz from the Exit Control List (ECL) under a new policy.

On April 22, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had announced the newly elected government had brought about changes in the rules for having an individual’s name on the ECL, and through it, several thousands of people will have their names removed from the list.

Sources in the government say that the names of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Ahsan Iqbal have also been removed from the ECL.

As per the sources, the process of removing names from the ECL 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.

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.

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