ISLAMABAD: A cabinet committee on Wednes­day recommended placing the names of 29 individuals, including in­­carcerat­­ed former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan, on the Exit Control List (ECL).

The recommendations were made by the federal cabinet’s subcommittee on ECL during a meeting chaired by caretaker Inte­rior Minister Sarfraz Bugti.

Mr Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi are accused of obtaining millions of rupees and hundreds of kanals of land from Bahria Town Ltd for legalising an amount of Rs50 billion that was identified and returned to the country by the UK during the previous PTI government.

Imran Khan was arrested in the case earlier this year from the premises of the Islamabad High Court, but later released after the Supreme Court declared his arrest unlawful.

On Nov 14, the PTI chief, who is already imprisoned in Adiala Jail in the cipher case, was again arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Al-Qadir Trust case. He was then handed over to the bureau on physical remand.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the interior ministry said the subcommittee had recommended placing on the ECL 41 people sent by various departments and institutions. “On the recommendation of NAB, the names of 29 people, including Imran Khan, were recommended to be put on the ECL in the £190 million scandal,” it said.

Separately, recommendations were also made to remove 13 individuals from the list. The ministry said courts had sought the removal of seven names from the ECL and “of the appeals submitted for revision, it was recommended to remove the names of three people from the ECL”.

It added that the recommendations of the subcommittee have been sent to the federal cabinet for approval.

Earlier this year, the then PDM government had placed Imran Khan, his wife Bushra Bibi and dozens of party leaders and activists on the Provisional National Identification List — a controversial no-fly list that effectively serves as a substitute for the ECL.

The decision was taken in the aftermath of the May 9 riots that erupted across the country after Imran Khan’s arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust case, and different corruption cases, official sources had told Dawn.

Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2023

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