After Pakistan’s new government had its maiden meeting last week, the Cabinet allowed the Ministry of Interior to review the ECL. Hence Nawaz Sharif’s new passport was removed from ECL.
On Sunday, a few high-profile names, like that of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, were removed from the list.
As of now, Nawaz Sharif’s new passport status is “active” in the immigration and passport department system. His new passport, with a 10-year validity, was processed within the urgent category.
For the last year, there has been a controversy brewing over Nawaz Sharif’s red (diplomatic) passport renewal. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan had criticized Nawaz Sharif’s frequent overseas trips under the guise of medical reasons.
What is ECL?
The Exit Control List, or ECL, is a list maintaining various groups of people whom the Pakistani authorities have banned from leaving the country. The list also includes a category of people who are facing corruption cases.
Currently, there are over 4,000 people on the ECL banned list. Names were allegedly blacklisted and placed on the ECL in order to exact political revenge on the opposition.
Sharif’s new passport is green, which is an ordinary passport issued to regular citizens of Pakistan.
In 2019, he was granted bail for eight weeks on grounds for medical treatment in London but he’s still abroad. Sharif’s old passport expired last February.
Shehbaz Sharif, the newly appointed PM, had ordered the issuance of Sharif’s new passport even before he appointed his cabinet. The reason for this was to bring his elder brother back to the country.
Islamabad HC last week dismissed a petition for stalling on the issuance of Sharif’s new passport. The court rejected the petition on grounds of being unreliable and frivolous.
Edited By: Khushi Thakur
Published By: Akshaj Joshi