Friday, April 22, 2022
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Govt decides to remove thousands of names from ECL: Rana Sanaullah

Shehbaz Sharif-led govt removes around 3,000 names from ECL after updating rules, Sanaullah says

Web Desk
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah addresses a press conference at the Ministry of Interior in Islamabad, on April 22, 2022. — YouTube/PTV
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah addresses a press conference at the Ministry of Interior in Islamabad, on April 22, 2022. — YouTube/PTV 

  • Around 3,000 names from ECL after updating rules, Sanaullah says.
  • Names on ECL for over 120 days will be removed automatically, he says.
  • Changes to be made to black list and PNIL soon, interior minister says.

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah announced Friday the newly-elected government has brought about changes in the rules followed for an individual's name in the Exit Control List (ECL), and through it, several thousands of the people will have their names removed from it.

In his first press conference at the Interior Ministry, Sanaullah said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had formed a committee to update the rules of including a person's name in the ECL.

"Therefore, with a quick pace, federal minister Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Asad Mehmood, Naveed Qamar, and Azam Nazeer Tarrar put forth their suggestions and the cabinet has approved it," Sanaullah said.

The interior minister said if a person's name has been on the exit list for more than 120 days then their name would be automatically removed from the ECL. "...a total of 4,863 are in the list, and with this intervention, around 3,000 people's names have been removed."

The interior minister said the government could extend the duration of the cap by 90 days if it believes of having had evidence against a person.

"The government will have to present the said evidence before the ECL committee, and once they approve it, the duration will be moved forward."

Sanaullah said following people would not be exempted:

  • Individuals involved in terrorism
  • People considered a threat to national security
  • If their names have been added to ECL by any court
  • People involved in terrorism large-scale public cheating.

Moving on, the interior minister said 30,000 people were placed on the black list and the Provisional National Identification List (PNIL). He added that since the number of people on the lists is huge, there will be changes to them as well in the next few weeks.

Sanaullah said that since 60-65% of the people have been removed from the ECL, a similar move would be made in regards to the other lists as well. 

'No conspiracy'

The interior ministry noted that since there were threats to former prime minister Imran Khan, foolproof security has been provided to the PTI chairman.

"The same security that his principal secretary Azam Khan had approved has been given [...] rangers, Frontier Corps, bulletproof cars, and other requirements have been provided," he said.

The interior ministry assured that despite PTI being the incumbent government's political rivals, the current regime would ensure the provision of security to Khan and his allies.

He also added that following the conclusion of the National Security Committee's (NSC) meeting, a press release has been issued and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed government officials to not discuss it further.

"...but I will tell you this, there is a consensus that there was no conspiracy against Imran Khan," the interior minister said.

Sanaullah said he saw the letter sent to ex-Pakistan ambassador to Washington Dr Asad Majeed Khan and no one's name was written on it, rejected Khan's claim of his name being included in it.

"There should be no foreign interference in a country's matters," he added.