ISLAMABAD: The interior ministry has confirmed that the names of two former prime ministers have been on the exit control list (ECL) for four years.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was informed at a meeting on Wednesday that the names of former prime ministers Raja Pervez Ashraf and Yousuf Raza Gilani were placed on the ECL in May and August 2013, respectively, on the advice of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
However, both were given waivers to go abroad — Mr Gilani in May last to join the PPP delegation visiting Afghanistan and again this March, and Raja Pervez in December — an official said.
Mr Gilani is facing charges of illegal appointment of Tauqeer Sadiq as chairman of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) in 2009, and of Adnan Khawaja as managing director of the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) in 2010.
Mr Ashraf is facing multiple references related to rental power projects (RPPs) awarded in 2008.
The meeting was informed about the arrest of 1,800 proclaimed offenders by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Islamabad police. They were involved in human trafficking and drug smuggling.
Chaudhry Nisar asked the FIA, Anti-Narcotics Force and Islamabad police to speed up their operations across the country and tighten the noose around such criminals. He asked for engaging Interpol and seeking legal assistance from foreign countries whenever a need arose. “We must break the nexus between the criminals, human traffickers and drug mafias.”
He ordered blocking of the computerised national identity cards, cancellation of passports and driving and arms licences, and freezing of bank accounts of the criminals.
The State Bank should be approached for freezing the accounts and the process should be accomplished in a fortnight, he said.
He said the names of all proclaimed offenders should immediately be put on the passport control list and a centralised databank of all criminals should be consolidated at the interior ministry. The information might be shared with all relevant government departments such as the National Accountability Bureau, Federal Board of Revenue and home departments of all the provinces, Chaudhry Nisar said.
“There should be zero tolerance to all crimes and more vigilance and focus should be put on nabbing fugitives,” he said.
He asked police and intelligence agencies to monitor their activities, and the National Database and Registration Authority to provide their families’ data to the law enforcement agencies to make their arrests easy. He suggested coordination among provincial agencies and police to limit the movement of criminals.
The FIA should approach partner organisations across the world through Interpol to stop the movement of wanted criminals from one country to another, he said, warning all concerned against showing any slackness.
The meeting clarified that a British Scotland Yard team had not arrived in connection with the money laundering and Dr Imran Farooq murder cases related to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.