Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials on Saturday stopped the Balochistan chief of the Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti and his family from boarding a flight to Singapore at Lahore airport.
Shahzain, who is the grandson of the late Nawab Akbar Bugti, was on his way to Singapore via Tashkent Airlines with his mother, wife and children. He said he was taking his mother to Singapore for an operation, which was to be carried out in four days. The flight, scheduled to take off at 2:30pm, was delayed as a result of the incident.
Placed on the ECL
Sources told The Express Tribune that Shahzain had been stopped because his name was on the Exit Control List (ECL).
Shahzain, however, said Interior Minister Rehman Malik had informed him in 2009 that his name had been removed from the ECL and his, and his family’s, bank accounts had been unfrozen.
He said on previous occasions he had been informed of his name being on the ECL through the media and in writing, but he was not aware of it this time. The JWP leader said he travelled to Thailand in March 2010 without any difficulties. Sources also added that an argument took place between Shahzain and the officials.
He said FIA officials told him that the family’s passports will not be returned and he will be informed in writing. The passports were eventually returned with cancellation stamps on all of them, said Shahzain, protesting that it was ‘inhumane’ of the present government to not allow them to go for his mother’s treatment.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2011.
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