ISLAMABAD - State Minister for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi Monday said that anyone placed on the Exit Control List is one-time allowed to fly abroad under the existing law.

He said this while responding to a question about how property tycoon and chairman of Bahria Town Malik Riaz was allowed to go abroad while his name has been placed on the no-fly list.

After overseeing the anti-encroachment operation in an outskirt of the federal capital, the state minister said that no one was above the law and constitution. The Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA) and Capital Development Authority (CDA) have launched the operation under the directions of interior ministry.

“We have no personal enmity against anyone, neither against (former prime minister) Mian Nawaz Sharif nor against (former president and PPP leader) Asif Ali Zardari or someone else,” he said. He added that anyone placed on ECL is allowed to go abroad one time under the existing law.

“Neither the incumbent government nor I have legislated,” he said. He further said that if anyone placed on the ECL will seek one-time permission to go abroad, the state will facilitate him under the law.

Earlier, Ministry of Interior had given one-time permission to PML-N leader and Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz to fly abroad while his name is on the ECL. He said that an FIR had been registered against those who were involved in chopping of the tress of Forest Department in the area. He said the capital city would be made exemplary for other cities of the country.

The state minister stated the anti-encroachment drive was continuing across the country under the vision of PM Imran Khan

Responding a question that how an FIR has been registered when the administration has yet to ascertain those who were responsible behind this land grabbing, he said FIR has been registered against some contractors and investigation was under way. All losses inflicted by the state and as a result of de-forestation are being investigated, he said adding that action will be taken after the finalisation of probe.