ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday wrote again to the interior ministry to place the names of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his children Maryam, Hassan and Hussain and son-in-law retired Capt Mohammad Safdar on the Exit Control List (ECL).

The bureau has also asked the ministry to put the names of former finance minister Ishaq Dar on the ECL and initiate a process to bring him and two sons of Mr Sharif back to the country through Interpol.

NAB in its letter said: “This matter is agitated again in view of the fact that references against the accused persons are at the final stages of trial. There is apprehension that they may leave the country to avoid legal outcome of the judgement which is expected to be announced shortly.”

On Feb 14 this year, NAB had written a similar letter to the interior ministry, but the government did not place the names of the Sharifs on the ECL. The ministry has reportedly been refusing to entertain NAB’s request on the grounds that it would place the Sharif family members’ names on the ECL only on a court’s order.

However, NAB officials have termed this argument a “delaying tactic”.

According to a source, the interior ministry had in the past never refused NAB’s requests to place the names of suspects on the ECL.

Earlier, the cases were decided by a committee headed by officials of the interior ministry, but on the issue of the Sharifs it was decided that the federal cabinet will decide ECL cases. But the cabinet headed by prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi did not put the names of the Sharifs on the ECL.

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2018