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ISLAMABAD: In a significant development, the caretaker government on Wednesday removed the names of former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur from the Exit Control List (ECL) as they were deemed not to be involved in a massive money laundering scam.

A few days ago Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had denied that the two PPP leaders were suspects in a money laundering case.

Their names were included on the request of FIA in a case of fake bank accounts, fictitious transactions worth Rs35bn

According to sources in the government, the interior ministry has removed their names from the ECL and sent copies of a notification issued in this regard to all the authorities concerned.

The names of Mr Zardari and Ms Talpur had been included in the ECL on the request of the Federal Investigation Agency in a case relating fake accounts and fictitious transactions worth Rs35 billion. Three banks — the Sindh Bank, United Bank of Pakistan and Summit Bank — were said to be involved in the scam. The names of Mr Zardari and Ms Talpur were put on the ECL on July 8 along with those of five other accused in the scam.

The interior ministry had then claimed that their names had been included in the list on the orders of the Supreme Court.

Published in Dawn, July 19th, 2018