ISLAMABAD - Only four days after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) stopped Opposition leader in the National Assembly and PML-N leader Shehbaz Sharif from going abroad despite a court order, a Sub-Committee of the federal Cabinet on Wednesday recommended to place his name on the Exit Control List (ECL).

The three-member Committee on the request of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has unanimously recommended to the Cabinet to place Shehbaz Sharif on ECL, said Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed while addressing a Press conference alongwith Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Mirza Shahzad Akbar.  

Both are members of the Sub-Committee of Cabinet on ECL while Law Minister Farogh Naseem, the third member, joined the meeting via video link.  The Interior Minister said that the Cabinet would finally decide on the recommendation. Hopefully, the Cabinet would endorse the recommendation of Wednesday, he added.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the other day, had written to the Ministry of Interior to place PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on ECL.

Sheikh Rasheed said Shehbaz Sharif can file a review petition with the Interior Ministry within 15 days against the decision of placement of his name on the ECL and they would decide the matter in 90 days.

Referring to the Lahore High Court order that the government to exclude Shehbaz from Black List, another no-fly list, to allow him one-time permission to leave for London for his medical check-up, he said that he was not on the Black List rather he was on Provisional National Identification List (PNIL), a temporary no-fly-list, which is maintained by FIA.  

He pointed out that five members of the Sharif family are absconders in telegraphic transfer (TT) case involving money laundering.

Sheikh Rasheed also said that the names of all other 14 accused except Shehbaz in the TT case were on the ECL.

Referring to the Constitution, he said that any accused could not be given exemption when all others are on the ECL in the same case.

The Minister also told reporters that Opposition leader was a guarantor of PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif who was staying in London after his release from prison on medical ground.

“We have not been told of any medical ground on which Shehbaz was leaving the country,” he said.

He alleged that PML-N leaders were trying to escape the country only because re-opening of the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case against them.

“They chose the time of Sehri to run away knowing that the case was about to be re-opened.”

The government has recently decided to re-open the Hudabiya Paper Mills case in which NAB through a reference had accused Sharif family of misappropriating Rs 1.24 billion.

Answering a question on release of banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) workers, Sheikh Rasheed said 1677 workers of the banned outfit detained under Maintenance of Public Ordinance have been released.

While the people nominated in 280 FIRs would have to go through the legal procedure, he added. He said that the application of TLP to lift the ban was under process.

Responding a question, he said that the entire Muslim world condemns the Israeli forces attacks on Palestinians.

He said that no leader has more love for the Last Prophet (PBUH) than Prime Minister Imran Khan. He further said that those criticizing his Saudi Arabia visit were immature and they should be ashamed of themselves.

”You would soon see the big deals and decisions he has made with the Saudi Arabian leadership.”

He said 1,100 Pakistanis languishing in Saudi Arabia prisons will be brought to Pakistan after Eidul Fitr.

Speaking on the occasion, Advisor Shahzad Akbar said Shehbaz has been facing many corruption cases and their proceedings will come to halt if he is allowed to go abroad.

He said Hudabiya Paper Mills case was closed on technical grounds, but factually it did not come to its logical conclusion. “Any case can be re-opened if new evidence surfaced.”

The adviser said PML-N was misleading the people by making a narrative that Shehbaz has been acquitted in that case.