Rana Shamim placed
on PNIL, will also be
on ECL: Sheikh Rashid

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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Wednesday that the former chief justice of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Mohammad Shamim’s name had been placed on the Provincial National Identification List (PNIL) — a 30-day temporary travel restriction introduced in 2018 as an alternative to the more tedious Exit Control List (ECL).

Addressing a ceremony in Islamabad, the interior minister said: “Rana Shamim has been placed on PNIL […] so he doesn’t run away.” He added there would be a meeting to deliberate his placement on the ECL as well.

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed addresses a ceremony in Islamabad on Wednesday.

The former GB judge is one of the central figures in case related to his affidavit in which he accused former Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar of colluding to deny bails to top PML-N leadership before the 2018 general elections. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) is currently conducting hearings on the matter.

Earlier this week, Islamabad’s advocate general had written a letter to the capital’s chief commissioner to start the process for putting Shamim’s name on the ECL. “The respondent alleged contemnor is a flight risk. Should he flee the country, serious prejudice may be caused to the ongoing proceedings and in effect to the rule of law and independence of judiciary,” the letter had stated and requested immediate action.

The IHC on Monday had rejected a petition by Supreme Court advocate Rai Mo­­h­am­mad Nawaz Kharal that sought Shamim’s placement on the ECL, saying it was the state’s responsibility.

National Action Plan

Addressing Wednesday’s ceremony, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said focus was needed on the National Action Plan (NAP). NAP, enacted through a strong political consensus after the 2014 attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, was aimed at taking result-oriented measures to counter terrorism in the country.

“I’ve told [officials] that you have to actively and strictly deal with those [people] who are the basis for our country’s disrepute in the world and the demoralisation of the police so that the country can escape this infamy,” the interior minister said.

He said NAP had been reactivated recently after a long period of inactivity in which nothing was being done. The interior minister added that regular updates would be provided to the nation on NAP as per the prime minister’s instructions to keep people briefed about developments.

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed addresses a press conference in Islamabad on Tuesday.

His comments come in the wake of a lynching in Sialkot last week where a Sri Lankan was killed and burnt by a mob. The incident was widely condemned across the country and Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said on Monday the government had decided to review the NAP on counter-terrorism following the incident.

The interior minister also said he had directed the Federal Investigation Agency to pursue action against major players responsible for the fluctuating prices of the US dollar and Pakistani rupee in the country.

Regarding the opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement’s announced anti-inflation march to Islamabad, Ahmed asked it to reconsider and come to the capital on March 30, 2022, instead of Mar 23.

The interior minister also hoped that Pakistan’s e-passport would be introduced in the next 100 days to “rid people’s lives of nuisance”. Ahmed further warned that strict action would soon be taken against those who were involved in making fake identity cards.