New ECL policy on the cards: Nisar

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Sunday said that the government had chalked out a new policy on the Exit Control List (ECL).

Addressing at a press conference he said in the past the ECL was misused and many people’s names were included in it wrongly. However, now thousands of names had been removed from the list after clearance from the departments concerned on whose recommendations they were put on the ECL.

He said about 52,000 people were blacklisted by the Directorate of Passports in the past. Some 8,000 names had been on the ECL for the last three decades.

The present government, he said, had not included the name of a single person in the ECL on political basis and this practice would continue in future too.

He said from now onward, only the Interior Ministry would deal with the ECL. The names of people recommended by the apex courts, besides defence and sensitive organizations, would be put on the ECL.

A five-member review committee would scrutinize the cases on monthly basis, he added.

The minister said investigative agencies would have to complete the inquiry against people who were put on the ECL, in a year while cases against them would have to be disposed of within three years.

After the lapse of three years, names on the ECL would be removed after serving final notices on the departments /agencies concerned, he added.

Replying to a question, he said in future a person would be informed before putting his name on the ECL and would be given a month time to explain his position.

Answering another question, he said about 3,000 names were left on the ECL while all the remaining ones had been removed.

Nisar said about 80,000 bogus Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) had been blocked in last four years with strict action started against corrupt elements involved in the practice.

Replying to a question regarding suicide attack on former Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada, he said there was progress in investigation.

He said the Chinese tourist, who was kidnapped last year, had been recovered in an operation by security agencies and would be handed over to his country’s embassy soon.

The government, he said, was committed to improve law and order situation in the country. A special meeting for the purpose would be convened in Islamabad next month.

Besides seminary administrators, all the chief ministers and the Army Chief would be invited to the meeting.