Saturday , April 4 2020

Senate body requests govt not to use blacklist for travel ban

Islamabad: Members of a parliamentary committee, both the government and the opposition have termed the indiscriminate use of the blacklist — an Exit Control List-likelist that restricts the movement of citizens, especially politicians.

A meeting held of Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice led by its chairman Javed Abbasi on Tuesday sought a compliance report of the ministry.

The agenda was to discuss “procedure for putting names on the blacklist”, Mr Abbasi pointed out some incidents when Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials stopped some people from travelling abroad, saying that their names are included in the blacklist.

Senators from the opposition, Mian Raza Rabbani, Ghaus Mohammad Khan Niazi and Mr Abbasi lambasted the interior ministry for the indiscriminate use of the blacklist, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari categorically declared that Blacklist is illegal.

“There is no room for such a list in a democratic regime,” she said, while saying that she didnot even know blacklist and she came to know when two lawmakers belonging to the Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement had recently been stopped from travelling because their names were included in that list.

Mazari said that FIA defended the blacklist and it was of the view that it is just made to take prompt action against suspicious people so that they do not leave the country.

She added that the law of placing the names on the blacklist can be altered and properly regulated, but she said that discriminatory use of blacklist is prohibited, it is nothing but a problem for people.

“When parliament does not allow you to restrict the movement of citizens in such a way then why do you stop them from travelling abroad on the pretext that their names are included in the blacklist?” asked Mr Abbasi.

Senator Raza Rabbani said sarcastically mentioned that if the law enforcement agencies here are so powerful then how could former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf leave the country, who was accused in a high treason case.

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