ECL, Raheel Sharif’s NOC on agenda as federal cabinet meets today

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan is chairing a meeting of the federal cabinet to discuss a 17-point agenda that includes removal of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah from the Exit Control List (ECL) in the light of Supreme Court’s written verdict.

A special committee formed to review names of people on ECL will brief the cabinet members.

According to sources, the cabinet will decide whether to remove the names of Bilawal and Sindh or file a review petition in the Supreme Court.

The country’s political, economic and energy situation will also be discussed during the meeting.

The matter of granting a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to former army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif to work abroad is also expected to be discussed.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court directed the federal government to remove the names of PPP chairman Bialwal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah from the exit control list (ECL) for the time being.

In a 24-page detailed verdict penned by Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan in fake banks accounts case, the Supreme Court has clarified that the exclusion of Bilawal and Shah from the ECL would not prevent the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to probe their cases further and in case sufficient material is found connecting them with cognizable offense, their names can be placed again on the ECL.

Detailed Verdict In Fake Bank Accounts

“As far as the recommendations to Mr Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Co-Chairman, PP and Mr Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister, Sindh are concerned, the learned counsel for the JIT has frankly conceded that the material against the said persons may need re-examination to arrive at the correct conclusions,” the judgement reads.

“Further their names may have been included in the list of persons who have been recommended to be placed on ECL , without careful examination of the material available on record and the ramifications and consequences of such orders for the said persons,” it said.

The apex court said that placing the names of Sindh chief minister on ECL would cause serious problems in performing official duty.

“In this regard, it has been pointed out that Mr Murad Ali Shah is the Chief Minister, Sindh. It would cause serious problems in performance of the his official functions in case his name is placed on the ECL and his movements are restricted. We accordingly direct the names of the said persons for the time being be removed from the ECL.”

The court was the view that a case for referring the report of the JIT, along with relevant documents, evidence, statements and the recommendations of the JIT be handed to NAB for initiating proceedings under the NAB Ordinance 1999.