Top PPP leaders put on ECL

  • NAB requests Interior Ministry to put names of Dr Asim Hussain and Sharjeel Memon on ECL
  • NAB preparing more cases to obtain Asim Hussain’s physical remand from court

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaders Dr Asim Hussain and Sharjeel Memon have been put on the Exit Control List (ECL) on Wednesday, as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has started preparing more cases against Hussain, a close aide of former president Asif Zardari, to get his physical remand from the accountability court, Pakistan Today has learnt.

According to sources, the decision to put Hussain and Memon’s names on ECL was taken on NAB’s request.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had recently announced a committee was formed to decide about the ECL list. Over 9,000 names were removed from the ECL, which were in the list since 1985.

Responding to the development, PPP leaders termed the decision “hasty and without any proof”.

“Not a single case has been proved against both the leaders,” said Sindh Information Minister Nisar Khuhro. “I wonder how this decision was taken. This is an act of political victimisation.”

Meanwhile, Memon, while speaking to media over phone from Dubai, said there was no case against him and he would return to Pakistan soon.

“I was not feeling well after undergoing a surgery. Doctors have advised me against travelling,” Memon said.

“I am currently recovering and will travel to Pakistan within the next 10 days.”

On the other hand, senior PPP leader Khursheed Shah told a private news channel that Memon had refused to come back to Pakistan.

“Sharjeel will not return, and he may resign from the ministry,” the opposition leader said.

Meanwhile, an FIR was registered against Dr Asim Hussain at North Nazimabad police station under Clause 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Hussain is likely to be produced before an ATC on Thursday (today), as the FIR against him comes following the completion of his 90-day preventive custody with paramilitary Rangers on Wednesday.

It was said that he will be produced in an accountability court on November 24, from where NAB will get his physical remand, after the end of the Rangers 90-day preventive detention. However, he could not be produced in the accountability court on November 25.

Law enforcers apprehended Hussain in connection with his alleged involvement in corruption cases in August.

A JIT, consisting of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Rangers, was formed to investigate Hussain in cases of corruption in the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), collection of kickbacks from oil marketing companies and SSGC, and land grabbing.

Well-placed sources privy to this development told this scribe that the JIT has failed to bring sufficient evidences that could help NAB get physical remand from an accountability court. “In the light of JIT report, NAB has decided to prepare more cases of corruption against him,” sources maintained.

“If NAB fails to gather a record of corruption against him in coming days to get his physical remand from accountability court, then he will be released,” the sources added.

Talking to Pakistan Today, Sindh NAB spokesperson Qudsiya Qadri said that Hussain was scheduled to appear before an accountability court for physical remand on November 24 (Tuesday), but it wasn’t possible, and he cannot be produced before a NAB court on November 25 (Wednesday) as well.

When she was asked about the reason behind this delay, she said that she doesn’t know much in this regard. When she was asked about reports of more case against Dr Asim by NAB, she said that she will not comment on this issue.

Talking to Pakistan Today, Sindh Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Secretary General Senator Taj Haider said that some forces are trying to implicate Dr Asim Hussain in baseless cases.

“If the JIT fails to bring evidences against Dr Asim Hussain, then he should be released,” he added.