Names of Bilawal Bhutto and Murad Ali Shah deleted from ECL

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ISLAMABAD: The PTI Government, at the order of Supreme Court, on Monday deleted names of Bilawal Bhutto and Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah from Exit Control List (ECL). Announcing this, the Information Minister Fawad Choudhry said at a press conference that we respect the apex court’s order and has taken action accordingly.

The Supreme Court while hearing the fake accounts case on Monday ordered that the names of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Shah be removed from both the exit control list and the joint investigation team’s report on a probe into the case.

The court also ordered that the case be forwarded to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), and directed the anti-corruption watchdog to wrap up its investigation within two months.The top court was hearing a suo motu case regarding a delay into a 2015 Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) probe into money laundering of billions of rupees via fake bank accounts. Both Bilawal and Shah were named in the report submitted to the top court last month by the JIT which was tasked to probe the case.

Several bigwigs, including former president Asif Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, former president of Summit Bank Hussain Lawai and Omni Group’s Anwar Majeed, were all nominated in the case. Property tycoon Malik Riaz and his son-in-law Zain have also been included in the probe.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar grilled the state prosecutor over why the government had decided to place Bilawal on the no-fly list after the JIT recommended the placement of 172 people named in its report on the ECL.”The JIT will have to clarify one thing: Why did it involve Bilawal in this matter?” Justice Nisar asked. “What did Bilawal do?”

Zardari, Faryal’s bail extended

A banking court in Karachi extended the interim bail of PPP Co-Chairman Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur until Jan 23 in the fake accounts case. The siblings face allegedly illegally channelled funds through the said accounts in connivance with the chief executive officers of major banks.

Both PPP leaders appeared in court for the hearing of the case today amid tight security. A racket ensued at the premises of the banking court when security officials refused to let The hearing was adjourned until January 23.