In Pakistan, it is a norm to avoid justice. People rely on different methods to delay the process of justice. Politicians, too, are not immune from this. In fact, they are the ones who heavily count on such manoeuvres.

After Maulana Qavi’s health problem’s kept him out of court, it is Ishaq Dar turn to fall ill. Due to his absence in the accountability court, the proceedings could not advance. While he is supposed to appear before the court on November 2, one thing that beyond understands is the nature of illness– a sudden and mysterious one– for which the cure lies in the UK only; not Jeddah where he was, or Pakistan that has several state of the art hospitals. It is now common knowledge among the masses that how politicians and their legal counsels find loopholes in the justice system to escape the accountability, and this detour to the UK fools no one.

On the other hand, Nawaz Sharif, who is in London to look after his wife as she is undergoing treatment, finds time to head a party meeting, but he fails to appear before the accountability court. Though he has the right to call party meeting anywhere, it makes more sense for him to travel to Pakistan instead of calling the whole cabinet to London on short notice – to great public expense it must be added. Beyond this aversion to return to Pakistan is another issue; the meeting was convened to decide if Nawaz Sharif should return at all – showing that the intent to abscond is still present in the former Prime Minister’s mind.

On the face of the things, it seems that both Nawaz and Ishaq are relying on nefarious means to dodge the hearings of the cases registered against them. However, there are options that the court can avail to ensure their presence before the court. The least the court can do is to direct the authorities to put their names on the Exit Control List (ECL). It is for the greater good of the country and democracy that these two people need to appear before the court and assist the court so that a speedy justice can be served. The list’s only purpose is to keep people who are a likely to flee justice, inside the country – and considering the actions and intentions of the two men, there has never been a more straightforward case for putting names on the ECL.

Both men may have returned for their indictment, but show little appetite for facing accountability; putting their names on ECL is the only way to ensure the accountability court’s hearings without any further delays.