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Govt includes Shehbaz Sharif’s name on ECL after completion of legal formalities

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LAHORE: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif’s name had been added to the Exit Control List (ECL) with the approval from the federal cabinet and completion of legal regulations.

Prime Minister Imran Khan convened an important meeting on Monday (today), at the Prime Minister’s House to discuss several key issues concerning the political environment in the country. 

According to sources, the issue of placing PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL) come under discussion during the meeting. Later, Fawad Chaudhry announced that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif’s name had been added to the ECL.  The relevant record has been updated in this regard, the minister tweeted.

Meanwhile, addressing a press briefing on Monday, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said that PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif’s name has been included in the Exit Control List (ECL) as a corruption case worth billions of rupees is pending against him.

He said that if Shehbaz Sharif is allowed to go abroad, it could affect the proceedings of the case. He said that the names of 14 other co-accused in the case are already on the no-fly list.

“There should be one law for everyone. Shehbaz Sharif’s name was not in the ECL so the government has decided to include him in the list,” he stated. The interior minister mentioned that the opposition leader said he wanted to go abroad for treatment but he did not submit any medical reports to justify his claim.

On the other hand, Shehbaz Sharif has decided to move Lahore High Court against the government’s move of not allowing him to go abroad for medical treatment.

According to sources, Shehbaz Sharif’s lawyer has prepared a contempt of court petition against the federal government and demanded the court to take action in this regard. The PML-N leaders have decided to record a protest in the National Assembly session today against not permitting Shehbaz Sharif to travel abroad.

On May 8, the PML-N leader was barred from flying from the Lahore airport to the UK via Qatar in the early hours of the day by the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA), hours after the Lahore High Court granted him consent to travel abroad once for medical treatment.

Shehbaz Sharif reached the airport along with other party leaders however, he was “offloaded” before the Doha-bound flight’s departure despite being issued a boarding pass. FIA officials stopped him at the immigration counter, telling him that his name was on the PNIL and he could not leave the country until the system was updated.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had informed the court that there is an allegation of the transfer of Rs533 million against Shehbaz through TTs (telegraphic transfer). The bureau stated that the PML-N president declared his assets as Rs2.1 million in 1990, which reached Rs41 million in 1998.