ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Saturday formally named several Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ministers at the federal and provincial ministers, party stalwarts and coalition partners in the cabinet demanding that they be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) as either investigation had been initiated against them for corruption or references had been filed by the anti-graft bodies.
On Dec 27, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced to place the names of PPP leaders including ex-president Asif Ali Zardari, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, MNA Faryal Talpur and Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah on the ECL. The cabinet had decided to place all the 172 persons named in a JIT report on the ECL, he added.
Besides Prime Minister Imran Khan, the list issued by the PPP contains names of federal ministers Pervez Khattak, Fahmida Mirza, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Zubaida Jalal. KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, KP Senior Minister Atif Khan, Punjab Senior Minister Aleem Khan and PTI aide Jehangir Khan Tareen are other prominent names in the list.
To communicate these names, a letter was sent to Interior Minister Shehryar Afridi on Saturday by the PPP leadership, that read, “More names will follow”. If names have to be placed on the ECL merely on the basis of JIT reports, the same principle will have to be applied uniformly and without discrimination, the letter stated.
The letter reads: “The ECL decision by the cabinet was made within hours of the meeting of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the PPP in Nauderao, Sindh, on the eve of 11th martyrdom anniversary of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. The CEC denounced political vendetta in the garb of accountability, demanded uniform accountability of all paid out of national exchequer and also took some important decisions to respond to current political challenges.”
“Placing PPP leaders on the ECL immediately after the CEC meeting makes clear the political motivation behind the decision. The fact that many names in the list of 172 persons didn’t even contain full details also shows the hurried, knee-jerk reaction to the PPP CEC meeting.
“A new element in the ECL policy also seems to have been introduced. Under it, people may be placed on ECL merely on the basis of a one-sided prosecution narrative without even a formal reference, court case and without taking into account defence plea,” it argued.
The PPP, therefore, expects and demands that the names of PTI leaders forwarded are also placed on the no-fly list, the letter concluded.