The revelation that Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) unilaterally placed the name of a woman from Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) on the Exit Control List (ECL) earned the spy agency’s chief and others court notices.
Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman on Monday issued notices to the ISI directors-general, Federal Investigation Agency, Immigration and Passports and the Civil Aviation Authority, along with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Tribal Affairs secretary on a petition filed by Zaibul Nigar to submit replies by April 30.
Nigar, the wife of Abdul Hameed Khan, chairman of Balawaristan National Front, a nationalist party seeking independence for G-B, maintained that the interior ministry placed her name on the ECL without a solid reason.
During the hearing, Deputy-Attorney General (DAG) Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri informed the court that her name had been placed on the ECL on the direction of the ISI. On hearing this, CJ Rehman made the agency party to the case.
The petitioner informed the court that she has visited several countries during the recent past, including a trip to Thailand in 2010. On January 30, 2012, when she was intending to go to Thailand again, the FIA offloaded her from an airliner at Islamabad Airport without any reason.
“Not a single letter was given to me when my name was placed on the ECL,” she claimed.
The counsel for the petitioner informed that the court that his client had approached the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on March 30 against restriction of his clients’ movement, where they were directed to approach the IHC.
“My client is a responsible citizen of the country and has never been involved in any criminal activities, nor is there any case pending against her,” he added.
He contested the security agencies move as ‘illegal’ and against the fundamental rights of citizens under Article 15 of the constitution.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2012.
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