Home Global Village Will the government remove Bilawal-Murad names from the ECL?

Will the government remove Bilawal-Murad names from the ECL?


News Analysis |

Foreign Minister Mr. Shah Mehmood Qureshi responded to the questions raised by the opposition in the National Assembly on Wednesday over the government’s alleged laziness to remove the names of the party Chairman Mr. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Chief Minister Sindh Mr. Syed Murad Ali Shah from the Exit Control List (ECL). It is worth mentioning here that the government had placed the names of 172 people into the no-fly list after the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) proposed for the needful.

As a matter of fact, the federal cabinet had in its meeting on December 27 last year decided to place the names of 172 individuals on the ECL, including Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Faryal Talpur, Murad Ali Shah, Farooq H. Naek and several other leaders and provincial ministers belonging to the PPP.

PPP is pressuring the government and establishment by using his influence in Balochistan and threatening to invoke Sindh card and deletion of the 18th amendment from the constitution of the country.

But the Chief Justice of Pakistan showed displeasure over the development and directed the federal government to remove the names of PPP Chairman and CM Sindh. Later on, it was decided in the meeting that the final decision will be taken once the complete order of the court is received to the cabinet.

Mr. Shah made it clear in the NA that his government believes in the rule of law and every order of the CJP will be implemented without any delay but the government is waiting to receive the complete written order to remove the names of the said individuals from the ECL.

Read more: Cabinet’s refusal to take names off ECL: Importance?

PPP MNA Naveed Qamar pointed out that Chief Justice Nisar — who is heading the bench hearing the Suo Motu case regarding a delay into a 2015 probe into money laundering via fake bank accounts — was retiring on Jan 17, questioning if the government was waiting for him to leave office. The foreign minister assured the lawmaker that the government “has great respect for the chief justice and his orders will be implemented even after his retirement”.

It is worth noting here that there is a war going on between the opposition and government these days where former is expecting and implicitly demanding a deal to evade accountability and later is not willing to accept it. PPP is pressuring the government and establishment by using his influence in Balochistan and threatening to invoke Sindh card and deletion of the 18th amendment from the constitution of the country.

It is worth mentioning here that the government had placed the names of 172 people into the no-fly list after the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) proposed for the needful.

Prime Minister Imran Khan whose two decades of political struggle focused on the elimination of corruption and assurance of rule of law and repeatedly clarified that his government won’t sign any deal with anyone. Analysts believe that if the JIT which was formed by the SC propose the names of certain individuals to be placed on the ECL has done this on some fairgrounds.

And the government’s decision to wait till the order of the country demonstrates the seriousness of the matter. The government reportedly fears that the CM Sindh may not fly out of the country.

Read more: CJP orders removal of Bilawal’s, Murad’s names from ECL

Whether the names of the PPP chairman and Sindh CM are removed from the ECL or the federal government makes a request to the court to review its decision, will be decided once the complete written order is issued by the honorable SC.

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