ISLAMABAD - The ministry of interior here on Monday decided in a meeting that National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) will assist in maintaining the central databank of Exit Control List (ECL), besides devising an online mechanism for registration of INGOs.

The meeting also decided that Black List of the ministry of interior would be abolished and only ECL would exist as there was no need to retain two lists having same purpose.

The decision was taken in a meeting at the ministry that was chaired by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. The meeting was especially called to review progress on the new ECL framework being worked out by the ministry of interior.

During the meeting, the chair directed NADRA to assist in maintaining a central databank of the Exit Control List so as to streamline the system and to facilitate law-enforcing agencies and the concerned individuals. Simultaneously, the NADRA was asked to extend its services and expertise towards devising an online mechanism for the registration of INGOs, the processing of their cases and regularizing their activities in the country.

The minister observed that ECL in past was used as a tool by the previous governments to penalize or to oblige people. He said that the persons whose names in the past were included in the ECL continued languishing for even decades without any respite. He said that the new system being put in place would not only simplify the procedure for making or deleting entries into the ECL and would ensure that justice was the cornerstone of the policy for the future.

Expressing his serious reservation over the existence of Blacklist, the minister observed that there was no justification for having two lists i.e. ECL and Black list. He directed interior ministry and the passport directorate officials to take immediate steps to do away with two lists and observed that there should only be one list i.e. Exit Control List. He gave the ministry one month to finalize its proposals after coordinating with referring departments/ministries and asking them to justify their recommendations.

He said that in future nobody would be put on ECL without proper justification and nobody would be allowed to remain on ECL for an unlimited time.

The meeting decided that as for those names who are already on ECL, unless the referring departments do not come up with due justification, thousands of names would be removed from ECL after a month.

The meeting on ECL followed another meeting with the senior officials of the Federal Investigation Authority to review progress made so far on mega corruption cases including the cases of Hawala/Hundi and the internal accountability as well as incentives for the officers of FIA.

Nisar at the outset observed that for FIA to become a premier organization there was need to introduce adequate incentives so as to attract best officers into the service.

He directed DG FIA to present within next two days a comprehensive proposal as to how a system of incentives can be introduced into the organization.

The meeting also reviewed progress on cases of mega corruption scandal that include among others EOBI, Hajj Scam, TDAP, new Islamabad airport, Pakistan State Oil and Evacuee Property Trust Board (EPTB).

The meeting was informed that out of 109 corruption cases registered in FIA, 79 have been challaned while in 30 the investigation was under process. It was informed that 169 accused in these mega corruption cases had been arrested while 147 were on bail. It was informed that 10 accused have been declared POs and 67 were absconders.

The chair reiterated commitment that all these mega corruption cases would be pursued to their logical conclusion and all involved would be brought to justice.

The minister also directed FIA to appoint competent legal teams in these mega corruption cases so as to ensure that there should be no lacunas in the investigation and prosecution of those cases.