ISLAMABAD - Though belated the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday requested the interior ministry to place the names of some 14 persons, including three former federal ministers, on Exit Control List in connection with Rental Power Plants scam.

It took NAB four days to request the interior ministry for placing the people involved in the RPPs scam on ECL, since the handing down of the verdict by the three-member Supreme Court bench March 30.

As per NAB sources, the three former federal ministers who were requested to be placed on the ECL included former federal minister for water and power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf of incumbent PPP government while former federal minister for water and power Liaquat Jatoi and former federal minister for finance Shaukat Tarin, both from former premier Shaukat Aziz’s cabinet.

It is pertinent to mention here that the RPPs hiring process was initiated during Gen Pervez Musharraf’s era and the process continued even after PPP had taken over the reins of power in 2008. Finally, the whole exercise landed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan on account of massive irregularities and dubiousness.

During this period some five federal secretaries served the ministry of water and power and all five were also placed on ECL. Those whose names were forwarded to ministry of interior to be placed on ECL included Ishfaq Mahmood, Ismail Qureshi, Shahid Rafi, Suleman Siddique and Saeed Zafar.

At the same time some six senior officials of Pepco including Tahir Basharat, Anwar Khalid, Saleem Arif, Munawar Baseer, Khalid Irfan and Fazal Khan were also placed on ECL.

Sources aware of the development informed TheNation that as the NAB also enjoys the judicial powers, besides its role of an investigating entity, so its request to ministry of interior is binding.

Sources in the NAB informed that according to the reply they had received from the ministry of interior all these persons were placed on ECL and no one could leave the country now, but the possibility of their leaving the country before placing of their names on ECL could not be ruled out.

The spokesman of NAB was not available for his comment that why the department had shown slackness in dealing with the case as the Supreme Court of Pakistan had announced the verdict in the case on March 30 and the same day the copies of the verdict were provided to NAB officials but it took them four days to initiate the process of just placing the name of the persons marked as suspicious in the deal by the apex court on ECL.