ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan announced on Sunday a major overhaul for the Exit Control List (ECL) while speaking to media representatives.
“The authority for the ECL will now be solely with the Interior ministry, and no other department would have the authority to add individuals on the list,” said Nisar.
The interior minister also said that 5,000 names on the interior ministry’s ECL would be struck off.
“There are thousands of names on the ECL which have no justification, and hundreds are from as far back as 1985,” added Nisar.
“A large number of names are on the list from the 1990s, and names were added on a whim by previous ministers and governments. Once on the list, people were restricted from travelling,” stated the interior minister.
The interior minister also said that there are more than 8,000 names on the ECL, which is unacceptable for a democratic society.
“I am happy to announce the cancellation of the black list connected to the passport control list, which had the names of 52,000 individuals, there would be no black list anymore,” remarked the interior minister.
Nisar stated that along with his team, he has spent the past many months working towards the overhaul of the 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, before we overhauled of the list,” said the interior minister.
Nisar also said that in the last two years, not a single individual has been added to the ECL on political grounds.
He stated that the policy to control the ECL has now been institutionalised, and would remain so in the future.
Earlier in July, Nisar had said that thousands of names will be removed from the exit control list (ECL) if the departments concerned fail to provide within a month justifications for keeping them on it.