ISLAMABAD: The Senate’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice on Tuesday was informed that more than 15,000 people have been placed on the blacklist.
The meeting of the Senate committee was held at the Parliament House where the issue of names being placed on the blacklist was discussed
Committee Chairman Javed Abbasi questioned, “how did the blacklist emerge and who has been working on it?”
He stated that law on the Exit Control List (ECL) exists but questioned the legality of the blacklist.
“How can the issue be discussed in the absence of the interior minister and DG FIA?” the chairperson asked.
During the meeting, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq said that the section of the blacklist was not present in the 1957 passport manual.
Responding to the senator’s statement, DG Passport said that “the names of only those people are added in the blacklist who have travelled abroad illegally or have undertaken illegal activities in a foreign state”.
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi asked DG passport as to why Hamza Shehbaz’s name was placed on the blacklist even though there were no issues with his passport or visa?
DG FIA responded by saying that his name was placed in the blacklist on the recommendation of the accountability court.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani said that “the issue could not be discussed in the absence of DG FIA and interior minister”. He further added that “a veto movement will be launched against the interior secretary during the Senate session”.
“Only civilians can be included in the blacklist. There is no law which can verify the existence of the blacklist. All the work done in the past on the blacklist has been illegal,” Rabbani said.
Rabbani demanded that orders must be given to present a report for the cancellation of the blacklist within 10 days.
The committee chairperson said that it is obvious that all the work done in regard to the blacklist has been carried out illegally. The chairperson asked the committee members as to what mechanism must be followed to deal with the issue of the blacklist.
Federal secretary for law and justice responded by saying that the committee can give recommendations on the reference to be presented by the interior ministry.
On the occasion, Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said that they knew about the existence of the ECL law but not the blacklist.
“Being the minister for human rights, I oppose the blacklist. The blacklist cannot exist in a democracy,” said the minister