Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Friday thanked the government for putting his name on the Exit Control List (ECL), saying that he has “no plans to travel abroad”.
The remarks by Imran come a day after the government placed the names of the former prime minister, his wife Bushra Bibi and dozens of other leaders – who have or still not quit the PTI – on the “no-fly list” on the grounds that they might flee abroad.
The deposed premier took to Twitter and said that he has no plans to travel abroad “because I neither have any properties or businesses abroad nor even a bank account outside the country.”
“If and when I do get an opportunity for a holiday, it will be in our northern mountains, my favourite place on earth,” he added.
On Thursday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Interior and Legal Affairs Attaullah Tarar confirmed to The Express Tribune that names of the deposed premier, his wife and several other PTI leaders had been added to the “no-fly list”.
The SAPM, who has the status of a federal minister, further said former and incumbent PTI leaders including Qasim Suri, Murad Saeed, Hammad Azhar, Yasmin Rashid and Aslam Iqbal were also among those whose names had been added to the list.
Though the no-fly list or ECL is a legal tool to restrict the movement of ‘dangerous’ individuals and stop them from flying abroad, the names of political opponents have continuously been added to it by successive governments for years now.
The decision to place the names on the no-fly list has come on the heels of an unspoken strategy of the ‘powerful circles’ of first arresting PTI leaders in connection with the May 9 vandalism of key government as well as military installations and then making sure that their freedom depended on leaving the party.