Notification surfaces confirming Miftah Ismail, six others placed on ECL

Updated April 26, 2019

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Former minister for finance Miftah Ismail (L) and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (R). — File
Former minister for finance Miftah Ismail (L) and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (R). — File

A notification issued by the Ministry of Interior earlier this month surfaced on Friday containing names of seven individuals, including PML-N's Miftah Ismail and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, all of whom were said to have been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL).

The other names on the list are Mubin Saulat, Managing Director Interstate Gas Systems; Uzma Adil Khan, Chairperson Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra); Imranul Haq, former MD of Pakistan State Oil (PSO); Shahid Islamuddin, also a former MD of PSO; and Aamir Naseem, a member of Ogra.

All seven names were placed on the no-fly list on the recommendation of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

According to the notification, dated April 9, the names of the seven individuals were placed on the list under Section 2 of Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance, 1981, "on charges [of] misuse of authority or willfully fail[ing] to exercise his/her authority as under Section 9(a)(vi) of National Accountability Ordinance, 1999".

The notification further details "causing loss to the [National] Exchequer", gaining "pecuniary advantage by dishonest, illegal, and corrupt ways" and "abetment, aid[ing], attempt[ing], act[ing]" in ways defined in Section 9(a)(xii) of the NAO, 1999 as the basis for the placement on the list.

It states that the "amount involved in the case is Rs36.969 billion."

Abbasi is accused of awarding a 15-year contract for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal against the rules when he was the petroleum minister in former premier Nawaz Sharif's cabinet. The case was closed by NAB in 2016 but was reopened in 2018.

Ismail is also being probed in connection with the LNG corruption case.

Ogra chairperson protests placement on ECL

Ogra chairperson Uzma Adil Khan wrote a letter to the interior ministry protesting the decision after she too learned of the fact today.

According to the contents of the letter, a copy of which is available with DawnNewsTV, Khan has informed the ministry that she appeared before the anti-corruption watchdog in connection with the probe on April 17 and had already explained her position then.

"I have categorically explained to the NAB authorities that the license of EPTL (Engro's Elengy Terminal Pakistan Ltd) was awarded before my joining Ogra as chairperson by the then chairman, Saeed Ahmed Khan, and the then members of the Authority," said Khan in the letter.

She underlined the fact that she has already answered all of NAB's queries and is currently in the process of submitting a questionnaire filled out on the same.

Khan has requested the removal of her name from ECL citing the "maligning" of her reputation and that of the apex regulator of the oil and gas sector.