Imran Khan says he has no plans to travel abroad, slams Pak govt

'I want to thank the government for putting my name on the ECL'

AP05_09_2023_000094B Imran khan | Reuters

Unfazed after being placed on the no-fly list, Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan on Friday took a swipe at the top leaders of the ruling coalition, saying he has no plans to travel overseas as he neither owns properties nor has any businesses abroad.

Khan, his wife Bushra Bibi and other leaders and former assembly members of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party were reportedly barred from leaving the country on Thursday.

Taking to Twitter, Khan wrote: "I want to thank the government for putting my name on the ECL as I have no plans to travel abroad, because I neither have any properties or businesses abroad nor even a bank account outside the country."

"If and when I do get an opportunity for a holiday, it will be in our northern mountains, my favourite place on earth," he said.

The Exit Control List (ECL) is maintained by the interior ministry and deals with individuals who are not allowed to leave the country due to pending court cases or for other reasons.

Earlier, the Samaa News channel reported on Thursday that the Pakistan government had barred Khan, his wife and at least 80 people from leaving the country.

The federal government has decided to add the names of 80 people, including  PTI Chairman Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi, to the no-fly list, the report said.

Top leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) including the party's supremo Nawaz Sharif are accused of amassing huge wealth in country's like the UK.

Sharif was sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment by an anti-graft court in one of the three corruption cases against him in the Panama Papers scandal in 2018.

During the trial, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had presented around 21 witnessed to prove that Sharif family cannot justify the money trail to buy four apartments in Avenfield House, Park Lane, London. It is alleged that the properties were bought with graft money in 1990s when he served twice as the prime minister.

Sharif, however, has rejected any wrongdoing and insisted they were bought with the legitimate money.

Khan, 70, and several top leaders of his party are facing cases in connection with the violence that erupted after the PTI chief's arrest on May 9 in a corruption case. On May 9, violent protests erupted after paramilitary Rangers arrested Khan from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) premises.

His party workers vandalised a dozen military installations, including the Lahore Corps Commander's House, the Mianwali airbase and the ISI building in Faisalabad in response to Khan's arrest.

The mob also stormed the Army headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi for the first time.

Police put the death toll in violent clashes to 10 while Khan's party claims 40 of its workers lost their lives in the firing by security personnel.

Thousands of Khan's supporters were arrested following the violence that the powerful Army described as a dark day in the history of the country.

Several top PTI leaders were also arrested in the wake of the unrest.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Sunday that those involved in attacks on military installations would be tried in the military courts while those charged with attacks on civilian targets would be prosecuted under civilian laws.

Pakistan's Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said on Wednesday the government was mulling a possible ban on Khan's PTI party following the attacks by his supporters on military installations after the former prime minister's arrest.

Khan was ousted from power in April last year after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, which he alleged was part of a US-led conspiracy targeting him because of his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China and Afghanistan. 

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