Rana Sanaullah, the newly appointed interior minister, stated at his inaugural press conference that a person’s name placed on the ECL would be automatically erased after 120 days. However, if there is substantial evidence, the period can be extended for an additional 90 days if necessary.
Furthermore, individuals participating in Ponzi schemes and defrauding the general public on a significant scale, including hundreds of affected individuals, will now be able to be placed on the ECL.
Exceptions to the automatic omission from the ECL include cases of terrorism, heinous crimes, and national security threats, as well as cases forwarded by registrars of the Supreme Court, high courts, and banking courts, as well as cases involving drug trafficking, Ponzi schemes, and deception of the general public.
The amendments were made to Rule 2 of the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Rules, which defines the grounds for prohibiting a person from traveling outside of Pakistan.
A new regulation (4-A) has been added, which states that a representation seeking a review will be considered within 30 days.
The interior minister stated that revisions to the ECL rules have already been agreed by the federal cabinet.
He claimed that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, shortly after entering office, took attention to the serious matter and established a committee to draught revisions to the ECL guidelines within three days.
He went on to say that a committee comprised of Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Azam Nazir Tarar, Syed Naveed Qamar, and Maulana Asad Mehmood completed the assignment within the time frame allotted to them.
Rana Sanaullah stated that in the past, people were placed on the ECL unnecessarily and that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was also used to victimize political opponents, according to the report.
The minister stated that the ECL currently contained the names of 4,863 persons and that the modifications would assist around 3,000 of them.
He stated that the name of a person could first be placed on the ECL for a period of 120 days. However, if there are sufficient grounds, the period could be extended for an additional 90 days.
He stated that the ECL regulations had been revised on the basis of merit and that the changes would apply to all people.
Furthermore, the minister stated that the black list, which currently contained the names of over 30,000 people, will be reviewed, expressing the hope that the process would be completed within weeks of taking office. He stated that, in accordance with Prime Minister Sharif’s instructions, fool-proof protection was being provided to former Prime Minister Imran Khan. “The security, which has been approved by Azam Khan, the former prime minister’s senior secretary, is being supplied to Imran Khan,” he claimed.
Mr. Sanaullah stated that the former premier had written to the government, requesting fool-proof security in the wake of threats to his life and that the administration had responded positively.
In response to a question, he stated that no lawsuit will be filed against anyone on the basis of political affiliation. He went on to say that a case would only be filed after a thorough investigation and on the basis of substantial evidence.
In response to another inquiry, he stated that a thorough debate was held at a meeting of the National Security Committee about a letter received from the Pakistani embassy in Washington and that no indication of a conspiracy was found in the message itself.