New Pakistani govt removes PM Shehbaz Sharif, others from no-fly list

Pakistan’s new government has removed names of several high-profile personalities, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, from the no-fly list, it emerged on Sunday.

The Cabinet in its maiden meeting last week had authorized the Ministry of Interior, headed by Rana Sanaullah, to review the Exit Control List (ECL), dealing with the people not allowed to leave the country.

The interior ministry started issuing notifications for removal of those names from the ECL which had been on it for 120 days without any compelling reason, reported the Express Tribune.

Those allowed to move out of the country without any hindrance include Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, his wife Nusrat Shehbaz, his niece Maryam Nawaz, former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, his son Abdullah Khaqan and Finance Minister Miftah Ismail.

Sanaullah on Friday said that names were put on the ECL for political revenge. There are 4,863 people on the ECL blacklist and 30,000 people in the Provisional National Identification List (PNIL).

Yes, the ECL rules have been amended which will directly benefit 3,500 people, the minister had said.

Pakistan authorities maintain different categories of people who are banned from leaving the country for various reasons, including those who face corruption cases.

But these lists had been used in the past by the governments to muzzle opposition.

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