SHC issues notice to FIA on petition of Afaq Ahmed

KARACHI: Sindh High Court SHC on Tuesday issued notice to Federal Investigation Agency FIA authorities, asking them to justify placing the name of Mohajir Qaumi Movement- Haqiqi MQMH Chairman Afaq Ahmed on Exit Control List ECL.

A division bench of SHC headed by Nadeem Akhtar was hearing a petition filed by Afaq Ahmed, who moved the court against placement of his name on ECL. Afaq Ahmed had submitted that neither he was involved in anti-state activity nor did he cause any loss to the national exchequer but he was still being victimized on a political basis.

He said the travel restriction was a clear violation of articles 4, 14, 15 and 25 of the constitution as he was entitled to free movement. Earlier, the bench noted that on January 15, 2013 the contention of Interior ministry was recorded that Afaq’s name has been placed on ECL on the basis of his criminal record. Though, it observed that no such material was placed on record by interior ministry to justify its stance of placing name on ECL.

The bench further said that it had directed the concerned department to place on record such record but no record was placed except merely some documents showing that names of certain persons have been placed on ECL.

The bench observed that it appears that in number of cases the ministry of interior did not act swiftly to the direction of the court. It adjourned the matter for two weeks as saying that if no reply of the ministry is received, the court will be justified in presuming that no justification exists and the court may pass appropriate orders.

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