Pakistan govt wants Imran Khan's name on no-fly ECL list

Imran Khan, 71, was initially arrested earlier this year from Islamabad HC

AP05_09_2023_000094B Imran khan | Reuters

Pakistan's interim government on Wednesday recommended placing the names of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan and 28 others on the Exit Control List (ECL) to prevent them from fleeing the country, citing their alleged involvement in a corruption case.

A subcommittee of the federal Cabinet recommended placing the names of Imran Khan, the chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, and 28 others on the ECL in the Al-Qadir Trust case, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The case alleges that the ex-premier and his wife, Bushra Bibi, obtained billions of rupees and land worth hundreds of kanals from Bahria Town Ltd for legalising Rs 50 billion that was identified and returned to the country by the UK during the government led by Khan.

Imran Khan, 71, was initially arrested in the said case earlier this year from the premises of the Islamabad High Court but was later released after the Supreme Court declared the arrest unlawful.

On November 14, the PTI chief, who is already imprisoned in Adiala Jail in the cipher case, was again arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Al-Qadir Trust case. He was then handed over to the watchdog on physical remand.

In a post on X, the Ministry of Interior said a meeting of the subcommittee of the federal cabinet was attended by interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti and officials of other departments.

The committee recommended putting the names of 41 people sent by various departments and institutions on the ECL. On the recommendation of NAB, names of 29 people, including Imran Khan, were recommended to be put on the ECL..., it said.

Separately, recommendations were also made to remove 13 cases from the list. The ministry said courts had sought the removal of seven names from the ECL and of the appeals submitted for revision, it was recommended to remove the names of three people from the ECL.

It added that the recommendations of the committee have been sent to the federal Cabinet for approval.

Separately, the Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Federation and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and sought responses from them on Khan's bail plea in the cipher case in which he is charged with leaking state secrets.

The former premier and his aide Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who is also behind bars, were indicted in the case on October 23. Both have pleaded not guilty and approached the apex court for bail.

The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday declared null and void the official notification of the Pakistan government for the jail trial of former prime minister Imran Khan in the cipher case in which he is charged with leaking state secrets. The trial is being held in the Adiala Jail, where Khan has been kept since September 26 when he was shifted there from District Jail, Attock.

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