Thursday May 13, 2021
LAHORE: As the federal cabinet approved the decision on Thursday to put Shehbaz Sharif's name on the Exit Control List (ECL) to bar him from leaving the country, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said that despite Eid holidays, Prime Minister Imran Khan is obsessed with Shehbaz.
Speaking to media after the development, Marriyum said that instead of thinking about the poor and needy on the occasion of Eid, Prime Minister Imran Khan could only think about Shehbaz to the extent that he ordered the opening of offices so that his name could be placed on the ECL.
Criticising the government's foreign policy and relationship with other states, Marriyum said that allied countries, instead of investing in Pakistan, are sending charity and zakat (alms) here.
"What is the fault of Shehbaz if allied countries are giving charity to Pakistan?" Marriyum questioned, adding that PM Imran Khan did nothing to control inflation on the occasion of Eid.
"PM Imran Khan ordered placing the name of Shehbaz Sharif on the ECL but I wished he had resigned from his position on Eid day as a gift to the nation," she said.
"I wish you had apologised to the masses on the occasion of Eid or had ordered the arrest of wheat, sugar, and medicine mafia instead."
She went on to say that the premier should have placed the names of those on the ECL who are defaulters of 14 trillion, adding that the federal cabinet took no action against those "thieves" who have stolen sugar worth Rs450 billion.
Marriyum reiterated that the court had granted Shehbaz permission to go abroad for his medical treatment.
"Imran Khan Sahab is deliberately trying to disrespect the court's order," she said, adding that a deliberate refusal to obey the court's order is not only contempt of the court, but it is also an attack on the judiciary.
The PML-N spokesperson said that Shehbaz is celebrating Eid with the people of Pakistan, his children, and his family with great joy.
"One can only pray for the state of hatred, jealousy, and fear that you are suffering from," she said to PM Imran Khan.
The Interior Ministry on Thursday had been directed to add Shehbaz Sharif to the Exit Control List (ECL) after the approval from the Federal Cabinet on Thursday.
According to Ministry of Interior sources, a notification related to the decision will be issued tomorrow (Friday, May 14).
Sources had earlier told Geo News that the ministers gave go ahead through a circulation summary on the request of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
A sub-committee of the federal cabinet had recommended including Shehbaz Sharif to the ECL.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad to announce the development on Wednesday, Minister for Interior Shaikh Rasheed had said that the PML-N president may petition for a review of the decision within 15 days.
He had said the ministry will make a decision within 90 days of receiving a request for review, adding that the PML-N leader may appear in person, if he so wishes, to make the request.
Speaking in greater detail about Shehbaz's name being placed on a "blacklist", Rasheed had said that it was not the case at all.
"The court's decision came with regard to a blacklist. Shehbaz Sharif was not on a blacklist. He was [...] under an order of May 7, 2021," he said, without elaborating any further.
The interior minister had said that there are three lists used to prevent someone from travelling abroad: one is the blacklist, into which someone's name is included by the Passport Office; the second is Provincial Identification List (PNIL), into which someone's name is added by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA); and the third is the Exit Control List (ECL) into which the federal cabinet has the authority to put someone's name.
Rasheed had said that the interior ministry "received no request (for permission to travel)" and "nothing stating medical grounds", whereas past requests had cited medical grounds.
It should be noted that on May 7, the LHC had released Shehbaz Sharif on bail in a case pertaining to assets beyond means.
Later, the court also allowed him to go abroad for eight weeks on medical grounds.
However, Shehbaz Sharif was offloaded on Saturday at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal Airport from a Doha-bound flight by the immigration officials as his name was on the provincial identification list (PNIL).
The PML-N president was told he could not leave the country until the system was updated.
The federal government had also announced to file a petition against the permission granted to him to leave for abroad.
Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said that Shehbaz’s guarantee could not be accepted as he had earlier given assurances about former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's return but nothing became of that.