Cabinet to discuss removal of Bilawal, CM Shah's names from ECL today

Cabinet to discuss removal of Bilawal, CM Shah's names from ECL today

Islamabad (Staff Report): The federal cabinet will discuss a 17-point agenda, including removal of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL).

According to sources, a special committee formed for reviewing names of people on ECL will brief the meeting, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The cabinet members will decide whether to remove the names from the no-fly list or file a review petition against the Supreme Court’s decision.

Earlier, the SC expressed anger at the inclusion of Bilawal Murad Ali Shah and others on the ECL, directing the federal government to review its decision.

A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar resumed hearing in a suo motu case pertaining to fake bank accounts allegedly used to launder billions of rupees.

State Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi appeared before the court after CJP Nisar summoned him over the placement of 172 suspects — who were named in a money laundering scam — on the ECL.

The court questioned how the federal government could justify adding 172 individuals to the ECL.

"How can the chief executive of the country's second-biggest province be put on the ECL?" Justice Nisar asked the attorney-general.

The attorney general claimed it was the JIT that had recommended placing the suspects' names on the no-fly list. "This confusion is created by the JIT," he said.

A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the money laundering case had held the Zardari and Omni groups responsible in its report submitted to the apex court last Monday. The report had also suggested that all the suspects in the case be placed on the ECL.

In view of the JIT findings, the federal government on Friday released a list of 172 suspects whose names were placed on the no-fly list.

Several bigwigs, including Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, former president of Summit Bank Hussain Lawai and Omni Group's Anwar Majeed, have been nominated in the case. Property tycoon Riaz, his son-in-law Zain, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari have also been included in the probe.