Names can only be kept on ECL for a month under new policy

ISLAMABAD: A draft of new Exit Control List (ECL) policy has been prepared for the approval of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, under which names of people could only be kept for a period of one month only.

Sources told Geo News on Monday that the new policy has been prepared with the assistance of defence ministry and other concerned departments.

Names of the suspects would be removed from the list if concerned law enforcement agencies fail to justify their placement on the ECL within a month, they added.

The interior minister had announced preparation of the new ECL policy last month, saying the government was preparing it to regulate and standardise the process of placement of names on the ECL.

On May 10, he said that there were people who had been on the ECL for decades due to absence of a standard procedure or law in this regard.

“People had even managed to put the names of persons on the ECL due to personal enmity,” he disclosed. The minister also informed the media about receiving a letter from an alleged member of Al Zulfiqar Organisation whose name had been on the ECL since 1988.

“This is not a banana republic,” said Chaudhry Nisar, adding that the government was contemplating a policy to keep names on the ECL for a maximum period of three years, with a review after every six months.

However, the policy would not be applied to members of banned outfits, army fugitives and people associated with Pakistan’s nuclear programme, he added.