Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar yesterday ordered that names of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah be removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) and ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to initiate an inquiry into the case.
A three-judge bench headed by the chief justice and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Faisal Arab forwarded the case to the NAB and ordered it to initiate a fresh inquiry into the case in light of the joint investigation team (JIT) report.
Ordering NAB to complete the investigation within two months, the chief justice remarked, “The accountability watchdog can probe Bilawal and CM Shah independently. If after the investigations a reference can be formed, then it should be filed.”
Earlier during the hearing, the top judge asked the JIT counsel why Bilawal’s name was included in the report.
“In this moment, Bilawal is clean and innocent. He is only taking forward his mother’s legacy, why was his name placed on the ECL,” the top judge asked.
“Did the JIT include him in the matter to bring him disrepute or because someone asked to do so?” the chief
Further during the hearing, advocate general Sindh said, “Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah’s name was placed on the ECL without any investigation.”
At this, the chief justice remarked, “Murad Ali Shah’s self-respect is being damaged. Should have seen that he is a provincial chief minister. Does this happen in any country that the name of a chief minister of the second biggest province
is placed on the ECL?”
The chief justice then ordered that Bilawal and CM Shah’s names be removed from the ECL.
“Bilawal Bhutto and the Sindh chief minister were only included for political scoring,” Justice Nisar remarked.
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