Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Friday announced Friday that the newly-elected government had altered the rules for an individual’s name to be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL), saying several thousands of people would have their names removed.
In his maiden press conference at the Interior Ministry, Sanaullah said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had created a committee to bring up-to-date the rules of adding a person’s name on the ECL. The committee consisted of Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Azam Nazir Tarar, Syed Naveed Qamar and Maulana Asad Mehmood, which completed the task within the stipulated time, he added.
Sanaullah said, that people were needlessly placed on the ECL to pressure them. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was also used to coerce the opponents of the government at the time, he added.
The interior minister elaborated that if a person’s name had been on the exit list for over 120 days then their name would be automatically removed from the ECL. “…A total of 4,863 individuals are on the list, and with this intervention, nearly 3,000 people’s names have been removed,” the interior minister said.
The interior minister said the government could increase the duration of the limit by 90 days, in addition to the 120 days, if it believed that it had evidence against the person.
However, he said, that the accused who have been involved in terrorist or anti-state activities or those whose names were placed on the list due to court orders would not get any relief. The ECL rules were modified on the basis of merit for all citizens, he added.
“The government will have to present the said evidence before the ECL committee, and once they approve it, the duration will be moved forward,” he added. He said he was hopeful that the task would also be completed within the coming weeks.