Caretaker Interior Minister Azam Khan on Friday clarified that the names of former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur have been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) following the court’s orders.
“The Supreme Court had issued orders for the immediate placement on the ECL of all those implicated in the case, including Zardari and his sister,” maintained Khan.
The court order was issued in the wake of an ongoing Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) investigation pursuing a fake bank accounts case. “All those named [in court’s order] have been placed on the ECL,” the interior minister added.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had ordered the interior ministry to immediately place the names of a number of individuals identified as accused by the FIA on the ECL so that they might not leave the country until the investigation was concluded or till further orders.
However, on Thursday the chief justice wondered how an impression was created in the media that the apex court had ordered placing the names of Asif Zardari and Faryal Talpur on the ECL when nothing of the sort had been stated.
“We did not even summon Asif Zardari and Faryal Talpur in person before the court,” the chief justice explained.
The interior minister, however, insists that the interior ministry has possession of the court’s written order which had listed the name of Asif Ali Zardari along with others found complicit.
“Given the situation that has developed we are reviewing our options,” he said.
The chief justice said on Thursday that a new joint investigation team (JIT) could be set up to probe the case, which concerns a 2015 FIA investigation into fake accounts and fictitious transactions worth up to Rs35 billion conducted through 29 ‘benami’ accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and UBL.
Seven individuals are believed to be involved in the suspicious transactions, and the fake accounts have allegedly been used to channel funds received through heavy bribes and kickbacks.