–Deposed PM’s daughter says placing names on ECL a ‘last ditch effort’ to prevent them from returning to Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: Convicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz have been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) while the government has decided to arrest the duo immediately after their aircraft lands in Pakistan and send them to Islamabad on board a helicopter.
Earlier, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had written to the Interior Ministry thrice, requesting it to place the two on the no-fly list.
The decision came after the recent Avenfield verdict which convicted Nawaz, Maryam and Nawaz’s son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar.
Nawaz and Maryam will not face difficulty entering Pakistan but they will be arrested during the immigration process at the airport, as is the standard operating procedure for persons on the ECL.
The decision was taken during a high-level meeting chaired by Interior Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, which was attended by the provincial chief secretary, inspector general of police Punjab, NAB Lahore director general, Federal Investigation Agency director general and Islamabad’s chief commissioner.
The officials present at the meeting decided that if the security situation in the federal capital is conducive, the father-daughter duo may be produced before an accountability court the same day. If security is uncertain, a judicial remand may be sought while Nawaz and Maryam are held at Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail, where Capt (r) Safdar is also currently imprisoned.
The officials also considered seeking assistance from Rangers to maintain law and order, a source said.
‘ECL MOVE A BID TO THWART RETURN’:
Commenting on the recent development, Maryam Nawaz termed putting her and her father’s names on the ECL a last ditch effort to bar them from returning to the country.
“No matter how much you try to cover it, people know the reality,” Maryam said while talking to reporters in London.
“This is not the 1970s or 80s; the more you try to cover up [the facts] the more you will be exposed,” the PML-N leader added.
Maryam further said that not only “we aren’t deterred, these circumstances have further strengthened our resolve.”
The former premier’s daughter went on to add that ‘they’ have used all tactics, but were defeated by their own designs every time.
Over failure to satisfy the court regarding the Avenfield apartments, the former PM was handed a 10-year sentence with 8 million pounds in fine, while his daughter was sent to jail for seven years besides 2m pounds in fines by an accountability court on Friday.
Nawaz’s son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar Awan, who was in Pakistan, though not at court at the time of the verdict, was sentenced to one-year in jail.