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LHC dismisses objection over petition to remove Sharif family members' names from ECL

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday issued a written order dismissing the high court office's objection of a petition seeking the removal of names of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and retired Capt Mohammad Safdar from the Exit Control List (ECL).

LHC Judge Faisal Zaman Khan, issuing the written order, asked the petitioner's lawyer to submit a copy of the government orders to put the names of the Sharifs on the ECL.

The lawyer was asked to submit the order in the next 15 days.

The written order stated that on submitting a copy of the government orders relating to the ECL, the petition — in which the federal government, the interior ministry and others were made party — should be set for hearing.

Earlier, the high court office on Oct 11 had stated objections to the petition for being non-maintainable.

The petitioner Shahid Iqbal Chohan has argued that the interior ministry had put the names of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain Safdar on the ECL without issuing a show cause notice to them — which is against their fundamental rights.

In his petition, Iqbal stated that according to the LHC's decision, the interior ministry had to listen to the position of Nawaz, Maryam and Capt Safdar. before placing their names on the ECL.

He asked the court to give an order to remove the names of the three from the ECL.

Nawaz and Maryam had on Oct 3 filed an application with the interior ministry, requesting it to remove their names from the ECL, citing different legal points.

“The interior ministry cannot entertain the request of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on its own as it has no authority. The cabinet had placed their names on the ECL. The interior ministry may refer the matter (their application) to the cabinet, but it is unlikely that it reverses its decision as their (Sharif and Maryam) cases are pending in courts,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told Dawn following their application.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government had put their names on the ECL on Aug 22 on the request of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) following their conviction by an accountability court in the Avenfield properties reference.

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