Pakistan News

SHC orders removal of Mama Qadeer, Farzana Majeed from ECL

SHC orders removal of Mama Qadeer, Farzana Majeed from ECL

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday ordered the Interior Ministry to remove the names of Baloch rights activists Farzana Majeed and Mama Qadeer from the Exit Control List (ECL), a report published on the BBC Urdu website said.

A division bench comprising Justice Ahmed Ali Sheikh and Farooq Ali Shah heard the petition filed by the two rights campaigners.

The petition questioned the law enforcement agencies’ conduct of stopping Qadeer, Chairman of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), and the organisation's general secretary Farzana from boarding a US-bound flight.

During today's hearing of the petition, the Interior Ministry and the Federal Investigation agency (FIA) had also submitted their replies citing alleged ‘anti-state’ activities as the reason behind adding the rights activists’ names on ECL.

The deputy attorney general had accused Qadeer of inciting Baloch youth against the Pakistan Army and the state. However, Qadeer’s counsel Wazir Khoso maintained that if his client campaigned for the rights of his community within legal parameters, it did not mean that he was revolting against the army or the state.

The court questioned the deputy attorney general if there was a case registered against Qadeer, to which the law officer did not respond.

Upon that, the bench ruled that Qadeer and Farzana were peaceful citizens and no restriction could be placed on their travel abroad.

Related: Qadeer barred from going US

Earlier in March 2014, Qadeer, along with Farzana and another rights activist, was barred from traveling to the United States to attend a seminar on the alleged violation of human rights in Pakistan.

Related: Mama Qadeer urges human rights watchdogs to probe authorities’ actions

Mama Qadeer said FIA personnel had told the three that they were allegedly involved in ‘anti-Pakistan’ activities and their names had been on the ECL.

The Baloch rights activist had at the time said that World Sindhi Congress had invited them to attend a seminar in New York on March 7 on the alleged violation of rights in Sindh and Balochistan.

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