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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Friday said that the statement of the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting shows there was no such thing as conspiracy and it was all a drama staged by the previous government.

Addressing a press conference, he said that the statement issued after the NSC meeting reflects that “the drama of conspiracy is nothing but to confuse people”. He added: “Neither the committee nor the security agencies have found any evidence of conspiracy.”

When he was asked about the word interference used in the statement of the previous meeting of the NSC, he said that it is very vague word and anyone can interpret it as per his own way. The main issue is that it was stated that the PTI government has been ousted through a conspiracy and the whole opposition was involved in it. “There is nothing in this regard, neither it had found in the previous meeting nor it found in today’s meeting”, he said.

The minister said that during the NSC meeting, the discussion done during the last meeting of the NSC was discussed in detail. The meeting also discussed minutes and decision made during the last meeting of the NSC, he said.

He said that former Pakistan ambassador to Washington Dr Asad Majeed Khan briefed the meeting.

After detailed discussion, a press release has been issued with consensus and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has decided that no one will issue statement except the press release issued after the NSC meeting.

To a question that Imran Khan said that his name was mentioned in the letter, he said that no one’s name was written on it. “If he (Imran Khan) stated that his name was mentioned in the letter then this would be a big lie”, he said.

The minister further said that the government has amended rules on the Exit Control List (ECL) and the name of 3,000 people out of 4,863 currently placed on the ECL would be immediately removed from the no-fly list.

He said that the ECL and the NAB were used for pressurizing people into submission, but the current government would not resort to such tactics.

He said a ministerial committee led by Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar had drafted new rules on the ECL and the federal cabinet had approved them. Under the new rules, the names placed on the ECL would be deleted automatically after the passage of 120 days, if the government failed to produce any concrete evidence against the person. The government could extend the duration of the ECL by 90 days, if it believes of having had evidence against a person.

When he was asked that did government amend the ECL rules to provide benefit to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam, former president Asif Ali Zadari, and other politicians, he said those rules were not made on anyone name. “Only 15 to 20 people among 3,000 who would immediately benefit from the new rules are politicians”, he said.

He said that people facing charges of terrorism and involved in “cheating the public” would not benefit from the new rules. He also said that the name of those people whose name had been placed following the direction of the Supreme Court, High Court or any other court would not be removed from the ECL under the new policy, he said.

Sanaullah said that there is another lists knows as the PNIL and blacklist and around 30,000 people are on it. The government has also decided to review the list and would make a decision within 30 days, he said.

He said that former prime minister Imran Khan has been provided security of the same level which was recommended by his secretary Azam Khan. Following the direction of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif foolproof security including personnel of Rangers, Frontier Corps, bulletproof cars, and other requirements have been provided to Imran Khan, he said.

The minister made it clear that no case will be registered against any opposition leader without conducting a proper inquiry.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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