LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Lahore, on Friday initiated the process to place ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and four of his family members on the Exit Control List (ECL).

According to the NAB Isla­mabad spokesman, the other members of the family who may face travel restriction are Mr Sharif’s sons Hussain and Hassan, daughter Mar­yam and son-in-law retired Capt Mohammad Safdar.

An accountability court had earlier declared Hussain and Hassan proclaimed offenders for skipping court proceedings in references pertaining to their family’s Avenfield properties, Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, and Flagship Investment Ltd.

On Thursday, NAB had requested the ministry of interior to put Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s name on the ECL after an accountability court issued non-bailable arrest warrants for him. Mr Dar, like Mr Sharif’s sons, has continuously been absent from court proceedings in a reference against him for owning assets beyond his known sources of income.

A senior official told Dawn on condition of anonymity that NAB Lahore had written to its headquarters requesting that Hussain and Hassan’s names be placed on the ECL. The NAB spokesman in Islamabad confirmed the other three names — Nawaz Sharif, Maryam and Capt Safdar — that had been recommended by NAB Lahore to be placed on ECL.

The headquarters would ask the interior ministry to proceed further.

The official in NAB Lahore said according to the procedure, they would first place Hussain and Hassan’s names on the ECL and if they still did not appear before the accountability court, then NAB would request cancellation of their passports.

Earlier in October, Hassan told journalists that the summons, warrants or proceedings by NAB did not apply to him or his brother Hussain as they were also British nationals.

The brothers, who live in the UK, are accused in three references ordered by the Supreme Court in its July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case. On Oct 9, the court, while hearing the references, had accepted NAB’s plea to declare Hassan and Hussain proclaimed offenders.

The NAB Lahore spokesperson, however, has denied writing to the NAB headquarters or to the interior ministry asking them to place their names on the ECL.

Published in Dawn, November 18th, 2017