Fake accounts case: Names of 172 suspects placed on ECL will be sent to review committee – Pakistan
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced on Wednesday that a list of 172 people on the Exit Control List (ECL) on the recommendation of a joint investigation team (JIT) investigating the case of false accounts would be referred to a review committee operating under the Home Office. .
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad following a federal cabinet meeting, Chaudhry said the move was in line with orders from the Supreme Court, which on Monday ordered the cabinet to reconsider its “hasty decision” put the names of 172 people, including Sindh Syed Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and other pillars of the PPP, on the no-fly list.
The Home Office’s ECL review committee will present a report to cabinet next week outlining the reasons “why the placement of the  the names on the ECL need to be reviewed “.
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“After examining the material [submitted by the review committee], it will be decided what to do next. “
Explaining the procedure for adding names to the ECL, Chaudhry said the relevant investigative agency first sent its recommendations to the Home Office. The ministry then forwards the names to the cabinet for implementation.
He said that the current cabinet made the decision “in principle” to add the names of suspects to the no-fly list whenever a JIT or agency sends them “and under that same policy, we have add the  names on ECL when they were sent to us by JIT. ”He said there were precedents in national politics to support this decision.
“We have seen that in Pakistan, anyone who could prove useful in the investigations was forced to flee the country,” he said, citing the “most egregious” example of the former finance minister. Ishaq Dar, who he said fled the country at the time. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s plane and has not returned since.
And this is how the cabinet will decide the fate of the 172 names, taking into account these “bitter examples” following the recommendations of the review committee, revealed the minister.
On the recommendations of the JIT, the federal cabinet at its meeting on December 27 decided to register the names of 172 individuals on the ECL, including Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Faryal Talpur, Murad Ali Shah, Farooq H Naek and several other provincial leaders and ministers belonging to the PPP.
5 units on the privatization priority list
Chaudhry announced that the government has decided to place five projects and units on the government’s priority list for privatization. These include the 1,230 MW Haveli Bahadur Shah power project, government actions in Mari Petroleum Company, Lakhra coal mines, Services International Hotel in Lahore. In addition, a cabinet committee will finalize questions regarding the sale of K-Electric.
In addition, he said, a committee headed by Defense Minister Pervez Khattak was tasked with identifying nearly 150 properties on “prime” state land. The list of these assets will be presented at the next Council of Ministers and a decision will be taken on their transfer.
The minister separately announced that the government has decided to add three vacant posts of judges to the High Court in Islamabad. The court will now have nine judges in addition to its chief justice.
Social plans submitted to the board
As part of the government’s flagship program to end poverty, the cabinet decided to bring together all organizations and programs focused on social issues and poverty reduction, such as the income support program Benazir and Pakistan Baitul Mal, under the aegis of the Poverty Reduction Coordination Council.
Led by Dr Sania Nishtar, the council will coordinate with all departments to design a coordinated program to effectively relieve poor segments of society.
Abolition of customs duties on drilling equipment
The cabinet also decided to remove the additional tariff on “the temporary importation of major well-exploration drilling equipment”. This was done because the government believes that foreign investments in oil and gas exploration sectors should not be taxed, but taxes should be levied on the income from those investments, Chaudhry said.
He announced that a high-level committee had been formed to make efforts for the development and mitigation of Karachi. The organ organizer will be Governor of Sindh Imran Ismail and will include lawmakers from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.
The cabinet also approved a loan of 130 million euros for the next phase of the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit project.