ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Interior has placed the name of former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on its Exit Control List on the request of National Accountability Bureau.

An official of the interior ministry confirmed that Abbasi’s name had been placed on the no-fly list after formal approval of the Federal Cabinet.

According to official sources, the Federal Cabinet on last Friday through a circulation also gave approval to place the names of two other PML-N leaders including Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz and his brother Salman Shehbaz, who is out of the country, on ECL. The NAB had requested to place their names on the list.

Abbasi during his stint as petroleum minister in former premier Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet is accused of awarding a 15-year contract for import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) while violating the rules. He is facing a probe by the bureau in connection with this alleged LNG scam.

Hamza is facing an investigation of NAB for allegedly owning assets beyond known sources of income. He, along with his brother Salman, is also accused of using public funds to build a road linking to the family’s sugar mills. Then chief minister Shehbaz Sharif had allegedly approved the money.

NAB during this week has conducted raids at the residence of Hamza in Model Town area of Lahore twice for his arrest followed by the brawls of PML-N workers with the police.

Earlier, the federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had placed the name of Hamza on a provisional no fly list known as the Provisional National Identification List (PNIL) for a period of 30 days.

On January 16, the Lahore High Court had given PML-N leader one-time permission to travel abroad for a period of 10 days. In his petition before the court, he had pleaded that FIA on Nov 27, 2018 had barred him from flying abroad when he was going to board a UK-bound flight to see his ailing wife there.  His counsel argued that government order to place him on interim no fly list was utter violation of the right to travel and free movement as guaranteed under the Constitution.

According to the official sources, NAB has also requested the interior minsitry to place the names of former finance minister Miftah Ismail and Secretary Sindh government Aftab Ahmed Memon on the no-fly list.

NAB SUMMONS KHWAJA

ASIF ON 9TH

NNI adds: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi summoned former federal minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Khwaja Asif in assets beyond means case on April 9.

Sources reveal that NAB’s joint investigation team will record Khwaja Asif’s statement.

It is pertinent to mention here that the anti-corruption watchdog has served a second notice to Khwaja Asif.

Earlier, Khwaja Asif was issued summons for April 1, he could not attend the hearing on account of being overseas.