ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Interior Tuesday submitted its reply before the Islamabad High Court in a petition of special assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari seeking removal of his name from the ECL.

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conducted hearing of the petition and deferred the hearing till December 3 without any further proceedings due to full court reference in honour of Chief Justice of IHC Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi.

Bukhari moved the court through his counsel Advocate Sikandar Bashir and had invoked the IHC jurisdiction for removal of his name form no-fly list.

The petitioner cited chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB), federal interior secretary, director general (DG) Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and others as respondents.

In the petition, Bukhari submitted that placing his name on the Exit Control List (ECL) was violation of human right and urged the court to suspend notification of the interior ministry in the matter.

He requested the court to issue directives to the concerned authorities to return his travelling documents.

It this matter, the federal interior ministry had placed Bukhari’s name on the ECL in response to a request of NAB on August 04. NAB is probing allegations against Bukhari for having assets beyond his sources of income. Bukhari is also accused of owning offshore companies in the British Virgin Island.

In his petition, Zulfi Bukhari contended that he is a British citizen of Pakistani origin and is currently living in Islamabad while his spouse and children are domiciled in the UK where his business interests are managed from.

The petitioner stated that he had been cooperating with the Bureau in connection with its inquiry against him, yet his name was placed on the no-fly-list.

He argued that Section 3 of the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance, 1981, provides for a right of review for any order made by the federal government, however, such a review only creates an illusory remedy.

Zulfi said that he filed a representation and review petition and despite passage of about two months, the review petition of the petitioner has neither been put up for the cabinet, nor decision has been taken thereon by the federal government.

Therefore, he prayed to the court to direct the interior ministry to remove his name from the ECL.