Cabinet approves removal of Bilawal, CM Murad's names from ECL

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet approved the removal of  Pakistan Peoples’ Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s names from the Exit Control List in light of the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s verdict.

Law Minister Barrister Faroogh Naseem briefed the cabinet over the legal aspects of the Supreme Court’s verdict.  The minister said that its constitutional responsibility of the government to implement the Supreme Court’s verdict.

The Supreme Court in a written order directed the government to strike down the names of Bilawal and Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah from the Exit Control List. 

The SC judge justice Ijazul Ahsan wrote the verdict in which the court ordered the Joint Investigation Team to send all the evidence and relevant material to the National Accountability Bureau.

‘Can put Bilawal again on ECL’

Advisor to the prime minister on accountability, Shehzad Akbar, said that the PPP leader’s name is not being taken out from the Joint Investigation Report on the money laundering case. 

“Bilawal is not exempted from the investigation, neither the Supreme Court has given any such direction. Bilawal’s name can be put again on the ECL if NAB deems it necessary,” he said. 

The case

The Federal Investigation Agency is investigating 32 people in relation to money laundering from fictitious accounts, including Zardari and Talpur. Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested in July in connection with the probe.

The former president’s other close aide and Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed a close aide and Omni Group chairman and his son, Abdul Ghani, were arrested by FIA in August.

Over 20 ‘benami’ accounts at some private banks were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made, according to sources.

The amount, according to FIA official, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes.