Govt asked to explain delay in decision regarding removal of Maryam's name from ECL

Updated 15 Jan 2020

Email

The federal cabinet has decided not to remove Maryam Nawaz's name from the no-fly list. — Adnan Sheikh/File
The federal cabinet has decided not to remove Maryam Nawaz's name from the no-fly list. — Adnan Sheikh/File

The Lahore High Court (LHC) directed the federal government on Wednesday to submit a written response to PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz's request for the removal of her name from the no-fly list.

A two-member bench was hearing a petition filed by Maryam on December 21, in which she has asked the LHC to return her passport and to order the government to take her name off the Exit Control List (ECL). During the hearing, the court was told by Maryam's lawyer that his client had received a letter by the government on Tuesday night, denying to take her name off the ECL.

The bench was told that on December 9, the court had directed the federal government to decide upon Maryam's request within a week but it took more than a month to decide and inform her of the final decision.

The federal government's counsel informed the court that the cabinet had decided not to remove Maryam's name from the ECL.

The bench noted that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is yet to submit a response on the matter as well. The court told the government to explain why it took so long to issue a decision and adjourned the hearing until January 21.

Maryam's name was placed on the ECL in the Al Azizia Steel Mills reference filed against her father Nawaz Sharif and her by NAB. The government allowed Nawaz to travel abroad on medical grounds in November last year but Maryam could not accompany him as her name was on the no-fly list.

The LHC, in November last year, granted Maryam bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case, in which she is a suspect, on the condition that she surrenders her passport to the court.

On December 9, she moved the court for the removal of her name from the ECL but her petition was dismissed after the LHC ordered the government to decide on the matter in a week. After the government failed to comply, she filed another petition on December 21, requesting that she be granted a one-time permission to travel abroad for six weeks from the date of departure. According to Maryam, she needs to travel abroad in order to take care of her ailing father.

The federal cabinet, however, decided last month not to allow her to travel abroad and informed Maryam of the decision yesterday.