Govt announces to remove Bilawal, CM Murad’s names from ECL

ISLAMABAD: Following the orders of Supreme Court (SC),
federal government on Monday has announced to remove names of Pakistan
Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto and Chief Minister of Sindh
Murad Ali Shah from Exit Control List (ECL).

Addressing a press conference, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said
that whole nation stands united against corrupt elements. SC has
referred the fake bank accounts case to National Accountability Bureau
(NAB) to complete investigation, he added.

The minister said the government and all its institutions will extend
all possible support to the NAB to take the matter to its logical end
and bring back the plundered money to the national exchequer.

Earlier, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, on Monday
directed to strike off the names of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)
Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and
former president Asif Ali Zardari’s counsel Farooq Naek from the Exit
Control List (ECL) and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report
pertaining to the fake bank accounts case, ARY News reported.

Advocate Faisal Siddique appeared before a three member bench headed by
CJP Nisar on behalf of the JIT.

During the hearing, Justice Nisar questioned the role of Bilawal in the
case and why his name was included in the JIT report and ECL. “What
wrong did he do to come to Pakistan. Why has this innocent kid’s name on
the ECL? Did the JIT put him on the no-fly list to defame him,” said the
CJP. “He is merely carrying forward the mission of his mother.”

The chief justice reprimanded the JIT for placing provincial lawmaker
Shah’s name on the ECL. “It should have seen first that he is the chief
executive of a province. He was defamed with the [government’s] ECL
move.”

Further on, Zardari’s counsel Naek, said the JIT report was utterly
biased. “Let us avoid commenting on the report,” the CJP said, adding
that the probe had revealed some real insight in the case.

“In my opinion, the fake accounts unearthed during the probe were all
subsidiaries, and their roots are connected to the Omni Group tycoon,”
the CJP said. “The matter should be investigated further.” He also said
the Omni Group ‘gobbled’ three banks. “This case opened on an
information shared by a police officer in Karachi but I wont tell his
name.”

Counsel of Omni Group, Muneer Ahmed Bhatti, relayed to the court that
the people put on ECL by the JIT also included a name of a deceased
person. “The attorney general had already explained the government’s
stance on the ECL,” responded the CJP. “You shouldn’t distract the
course of proceedings.”

Questioning the sources of Omni group chairman Anwar Majeed’s wealth,
Justice Ejaz ul Ahsan asked Bhatti to apprise the court about the number
of mills owned by his client.

Towards the end of the hearing, the court ordered the National
Accountability Bureau (NAB) to conduct a thorough inquiry into the case
and wrap it up within two months

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