ISLAMABAD – The Exit Control List will not be used to malign people anymore, the interior minister said yesterday.
The ECL will now be solely controlled by the interior ministry and no other department will directly add anyone’s name to the list,” Chuadhry Nisar told the media at Punjab House.
“Only on the recommendations of superior judiciary and security agencies, someone’s name will be placed on the ECL,” the minister said.
“The Federal Investigation Agency, National Accountability Bureau and other departments would have to justify their recommendation for putting someone’s name on the ECL before an interior ministry committee.
“The ministry will update the list and some 5,000, out of total 8,000, names will be deleted from it in a couple of months,” he added.
In the past the list was misused to blatantly victimise the political opponents – some people even used it to settle family feuds, the minister claimed.
“Some names have been on the list since 1985 and no one has so far bothered to find the reason for placing them on it,” the minister said, adding that the person on the ECL would be given one month time to get his/name removed from it.
He said in the last two years of their government, not a single individual has been added to the ECL on political grounds.
Nisar said the people serving on sensitive positions whose going abroad could hurt national interest would be placed on ECL.
He stated that he along with his team has spent the past many months on the overhaul of ECL.
“The decision to overhaul the ECL is not a knee-jerk reaction, we have consulted all ministries and stakeholders in the last two months,” said the interior minister.
He said the ministry has so far cancelled some 80,000 bogus identity cards, out of which some 40,000 were issued before 2013. The minister vowed to bring to justice the people holding multiple passports.
News agencies quoted the minister as saying, “As an alternative to the Black List, a passport list is being generated to target the individuals who are using two passports and resorting to illegal use with the help of these.”
About the National Action Plan (NAP), the interior minister said he will brief the federal cabinet today on its implementation and the future strategy to swoop down on militants.
About the seminary reforms under the NAP, he said that he would hold a meeting with madrasa heads in the first week of September.
“A moot of all chief ministers and heads of law enforcement agencies will also be held to devise anti-terror strategy. The prime minister and army chief would also be invited to the conference,” he added.
“We are getting closer to the perpetrators of suicide attack on the Punjab home minister’s political meeting in his village,” the minister said, refusing to share details of progress on probe into the Attock attack.
The minister rubbishes PTI’s criticism on PML-N as pack of lies.
The minister rejected the reports of tensions between civil and military leadership as “baseless”.
Nisar said intelligence agencies have rescued a Chinese tourist kidnapped last year in an area close to insurgency-prone regions. The unidentified man was abducted in May last year from Daraban in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa near the border with Balochistan province and the South Waziristan tribal district, both of which are rife with insurgents.
“The Chinese tourist was recovered Saturday night after a successful operation and is to be handed over to the Chinese embassy in Islamabad anytime soon,” Nisar said without giving details.
Officials said the man was apparently travelling through the area by bicycle when he was seized last year. A faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan had said it was behind the abduction. But Nisar did not disclose from where and under what circumstances the tourist was rescued.