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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Saturday said that the name of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif had not yet been placed on Exit Control List (ECL).

In a video message, he said: “There has been a lot of noise in the media regarding Shehbaz Sharif…his name has not been placed on the ECL so far as the summary is yet to be received from the Cabinet Division and it could come either on Monday or Tuesday.”

This is a case where the names of 14 suspects are already on the list and five people from their family are absconders in the case, he said, adding that Shehbaz Sharif was the guarantor for his brother Nawaz Sharif, who is currently in the UK.

“He [Shahbaz] was not going to London directly [as] he wanted to go Qatar and then wanted to proceed to the UK after spending 15 days quarantine in the UK,” he added.

He also said that the Shehbaz Sharif has not submitted his medical reports yet as these are needed if he is going for a medical treatment abroad.

“Once the cabinet summary is received, the law ministry and the interior ministry will forward it in accordance with the law. It is expected that the decision will come by Monday or Tuesday,” he added.

Earlier this month, the Lahore High Court granted Shehbaz permission to travel abroad once for medical treatment.

After obtaining bail, Shehbaz was about to fly to London on May 8 when an FIA team at the airport stopped him from travelling on the grounds that his name had been on the list of persons barred from leaving the country.

On May 12, the interior minister announced that a sub-committee of the federal cabinet had recommended that the name of Shehbaz be placed on the ECL, adding that the recommendation was being sent to the cabinet for a final decision.

In the video message, he also said that Covid-19 positivity rate decreased due to compliance with SOPs during Eid holidays.

The minister said that the Pakistan Army, the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC), the police and other institutions had done a commendable job in this regard. He also recognised the efforts of masses for following the SOPs.

“In comparison, the Indian variant of the virus has spread to United Kingdom, and is infecting 0.4 million and claiming 4,000 lives in India on a daily basis. In such a situation, I commend all the institutions in the country for a job well done,” he added.

Earlier today, Pakistan reported 1,531 new coronavirus cases during the last 24 hours. This is the first time the country has reported less than 2,000 infections since March 9, when 1,786 cases were reported.

According to NCOC, 30,248 tests were conducted during the last 24 hours while 83 fatalities were reported. The total number of cases has risen to 874,751 and the death toll is 19,467.

The positivity rate is 5.06 per cent. Following is the breakdown of deaths and cases reported in different parts of the country. Sindh: 714 cases, 13 deaths, Punjab: 483 cases, 40 deaths, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 211 cases, 20 deaths, Islamabad: 58 cases, 3 deaths, Balochistan: 36 cases, 5 deaths, Azad Jammu and Kashmir: 26 cases, 2 deaths, Gilgit Baltistan: 3 cases.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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