Zulfi Bukhari and ECL

June 13, 2018

By Asif Mehmood

Zulfi Bukhari is a close friend of PTI Chief Imran Khan. His name was put on ECL. Despite being put on ECL he left for Saudi Arabia with Imran Khan on a chartered plane.  It is said that Imran Khan asked the caretaker government to let him go with him and this request was accepted. This created a furore. Now that everyone is criticizing Imran Khan for being more equal in this caretaker regime the question is: whether or not he has actually committed something wrong and illegal? The answer is NO.

First of all let us analyze the relevant provision of law. This is section 2 of the EXIT FROM PAKISTAN (CONTROL) ORDINANCE, 1981. It states that:

“(1) Any person aggrieved by an order of the Federal Government under subsection (1) of section 2 may, within fifteen days of the making of the order, make a representation to the Federal Government for a review of the order, setting out in the representation the grounds on which he seeks the review.

(2) The Federal Government may, after giving the person making a representation an opportunity of being heard, make such order as it may deem fit.”

This provision makes few things very clear.

  1. It is misinterpretation of the law that only the court of law is competent to remove name of someone from ECL and as Zulfi Bukhari has not approached any court so removal of his name from the list by the executive order of the government is illegal. The law clearly provides that Review shall be exercised by the Federal government.
  2. It is also misinterpretation of the that if the government removes his name on the request of Imran khan it is illegal. The fact is that this is absolutely legal as the sub clause 2 says that). The Federal Government may, after giving the person making a representation an opportunity of being heard, make such order as it may deem fit.”
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