ISLAMABAD - The federal government has deleted names of more than 8,500 individuals from the Exit Control List while retaining only 3,100 people under the revised ECL policy announced in September last year.

A senior officer of the Ministry of Interior yesterday shared this information at a meeting of the heads of civil departments of the Interior Division that was held to review the progress on the government’s new policies on ECL, international non-government organizations (INGOs) and others. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan chaired the meeting.

The Ministry of Interior announced its new policy on ECL in September 2015, keeping in view large-scale complaints that innocent people had been included in the no-fly list in the past on political basis as well as over trivial matters.

With the announcement of the policy, the ministry, through a notification, excluded 4,987 names from the list that contained more than 10,000 names at that time. “Only those persons whose period of placement is less than three years or those involved in anti-state activities/terrorism or related to proscribed organizations or 4th schedulers and placed on the orders of the superior courts have been retained on the ECL,” said September 16 notification of the Interior Division that laid down future guidelines for placing any person’s name in the ECL.

“The new policy ensures transparency and rule of law in the entire system of exit control and permanently resolves the issue of misusing this authority of the state for settling personal scores and issues,” the minister remarked.

The meeting was also briefed on the progress of the ministry in the registration of INGOs. It was decided that a special cell in the Ministry of Interior would be established in coordination with the Nadra for facilitation of INGOs. The interior secretary was asked to accomplish this task.

The chair directed the officials to expedite the process of according approval to the INGOs as per new policy in consultation with all stakeholders. It was also decided that all the INGOs whose applications for registration, under the new policy, are under process should continue their operations till the final decision by the ministry. Representatives of the INGOs informed the ministry that they were facing hurdles in their working because of delay in the renewal of their MoUs under the new policy.

The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) chairman claimed it had earned an unprecedented net profit of Rs 600 million during the current calendar year. The meeting was informed that the authority had faced a loss of Rs 1.68 billion during the fiscal year 2011-12.

The Nadra chairman said the calendar year 2015 was another success story vis-à-vis betterment of service delivery and operational proficiency, improvement of overall working of the organization and cleansing of corrupt and inefficient elements.

The chair, while expressing satisfaction over the profit earned by Nadra, directed the chairman to make greater efforts for further improvement in the service delivery. He said the authority should continue its policy of rewarding and encouraging dedicated and honest workers besides taking action against corrupt and dishonest elements in the organization. The chair was informed that Safe City Project would soon be made fully operational.

The meeting also reviewed working of the ministry as well as its attached civil departments, the existing policy regarding foreign visits of the ministry’s officials and posting of police officers in foreign missions.

The minister underlined the need for greater efforts to streamline file work and putting in place an effective monitoring system for smooth and unhindered movement of files in the ministry. He advised the interior secretary to ensure that competent officers are tasked to look after important matters such as readmission affairs, immigrations and matters pertaining to INGOs.