Islamabad-The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday sought record of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) inquiry while hearing a petition of special assistant to the Prime Minister on overseas Pakistanis and human resource development Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari seeking removal of his name from the ECL. A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conducted hearing of the petition by Bukhari who moved it to the court through his counsel Advocate Sikandar Bashir and had invoked the IHC jurisdiction for removal of his name from the no-fly list. The IHC dual bench directed the Investigation Officer (IO) of the NAB to submit the record of the inquiry pending against Zulfi before the court. The court also directed to submit the NAB order which permitted Zulfi to travel abroad once. Later, the court deferred hearing till Tuesday (today) for further proceedings.

The petitioner cited chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB), federal interior secretary, director general (DG) Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and others as respondents. In the petition, Bukhari argued that placing his name in the Exist Control List (ECL) was a violation of human rights and urged the court to suspend notification of the interior ministry in the matter. He requested the court to issue directives to the concerned authorities to return his travelling documents. Earlier, the federal interior ministry had placed Bukhari’s name on the ECL in response to a request by NAB on August 04.

NAB is probing into allegations against Bukhari for having assets beyond his source of income. Bukhari is also accused of owning offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands. In his petition, Zulfi Bukhari contended that he is a British citizen of Pakistani origin and is currently living in Islamabad while his spouse and children are domiciled in the UK where his business interests are managed from. The petitioner stated that he had been cooperating with the Bureau in connection with its inquiry against him, yet his name was placed on the no-fly list. He argued that Section 3 of the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance, 1981, provides for a right of review for any order made by the federal government, however, such a review only creates an illusory remedy. Zulfi said that he filed a representation and review petition and despite the passage of about two months, the review petition of the petitioner has neither been put up for the cabinet, nor a decision has been taken thereon by the federal government. Therefore, he prayed to the court to direct the interior ministry to remove his name from the ECL.