ISLAMABAD, Jan 17 (APP):The Federal Cabinet on Thursday decided to remove the names of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)
Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah from the Exit Control List
(ECL) for the time being, after receiving detailed judgment of Supreme Court.
Addressing a joint press briefing on Cabinet decisions, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on
Media Iftikhar Durrani and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar on
dispelled this impression that the government was in hurry to remove their names from ECL and
added that the Cabinet had earlier delayed this decision as it had been waiting for detailed written
order of the court.
Shahzad Akbar said that the Supreme Court has directed the National Accountability Bureau
(NAB) to probe the mega money laundering and fake bank accounts case and ordered the authorities
to remove the names of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh
Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah from the Exit Control List (ECL) for the time being.
He said that written judgment also clarified that NAB would not be prevented from probing the
case against the two PPP leaders further and in case sufficient material was found connected to
them with cognizable offences, it shall not be precluded from making an appropriate request to
the federal government to place their names on ECL.
He said that SC order noted that putting Murad Ali Shah’s name on the ECL would create
problems in performing of his official functions as chief minister.
He said that the court also observed that as far as the recommendations of Joint Investigation
Team (JIT) related to Bilawal and Murad were concerned, the JIT’s counsel himself conceded that
the material against the said persons might need re-examination to arrive at the correct conclusion.
He said the judgment stated that all cases, which have not been concluded or in the opinion
of the JIT required further probe, shall remain within the jurisdiction of the JIT which shall continue
it probe and investigation under the mandate granted by the apex court.
He said that the court directed the JIT to complete the investigation with in reasonable time
where after its report together with all material and evidence would be transmitted to NAB without
the need for any further court order for action in accordance with law.
He said that the SC has ordered NAB to investigate the case in light of a report recently
submitted by the JIT, probing the matter, and to complete its investigation.
He said that the bench mandated the National Accountability Bureau to summon whoever it
wished, and instructed the JIT to continue its own probe meanwhile.
Shahzad Akbar made it clear that their names can again be included on ECL on recommendation of the
NAB while examining the merits of its recommendation and make decision if the Cabinet convinces from
the NAB arguments.
He also dispelled this impression that their names are being deleted from report and investigation.
He said that the Supreme Court in its order directed that the complete report of the JIT alongwith
all material and evidence, collected by the JIT shall be transmitted to NAB immediately.
He said that the court has ordered that all members of JIT shall be associated with NAB for the
purpose of assisting in any further probe, inquiry or investigation that NAB may consider necessary
or appropriate in order to satisfy itself about the fulfillment of illegal and procedural requirements and
to complete the investigation entirely.
He said that all JIT members will further assist the NAB in additional investigation procedure due to
different nature of offences. He added the JIT will remain functional as per court order to further probe
the matters discussed in JIT report.
He said that suspension of bail order was being mis-perceived and added that the case still
existed on merit and was pending before the court.
He said that 16 offences have been pointed out and the investigation is complete in these
16 offences while they pointed out further more. He said that that after completing the probe,
the matter will be referred to the NAB.
He added the NAB will file references without further waiting for court order. He said that
16 references of NAB can be filed subject to completion of investigation within two months
with the assistance of JIT.
He said that as per court order, references will be filed in accountability courts of Rawalpindi
He said that Chief Justice of Pakistan will appoint an implementation judge to ensure following
time-table and fairness to satisfy all parties.
He said that in para 33, the SC in its order said that from the information to the JIT, the oral
documentary evidence collected and information obtained from all sources, the JIT has opined that
prime facie cognizable offences have been made out, inter alia, involving corruption, corrupt
practices and money laundering.
The order added further public sector institutions have been remiss, negligent and heedless
in following laws, rules and regulations and in some instance working in complete disregard of
the same for years, he said.