Islamabad: Pakistan government is considering a proposal to make it tougher to impose a foreign travel ban on any person, according to a media report on Thursday.
If the government goes ahead with the move, it will become impossible for officials to place a person`s name on the Interior Ministry`s Exit Control List (ECL) just on verbal instructions or a telephone call.
While the move is understood to be well-intentioned, one legal opinion is that it could enable criminals to flee Pakistan before courts put their names on the ECL, The Express Tribune reported.
The government`s plan to review the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance 1981 came soon after a superior court was approached to remove former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who is facing a high treason case, from the ECL.
A senior official of the Interior Ministry had suggested in a meeting to make the process more transparent.
A new law, if introduced, will make it impossible for the Interior Ministry to put names of criminal on the ECL on an emergency basis, the official claimed.
They said Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had desired to wipe out the system under which a person`s name could be put on the ECL without ample evidence.
"We can`t put name of a person at least on a verbal instruction, nobody`s name will be put on ECL telephonically," a senior officer quoted Khan as saying.
Currently, names of more than 4,000 people are on the ECL and Interior Ministry officials believe that the list includes the names of hundreds of innocent citizens.
Interior Ministry spokesman Omar Hameed Khan said the new law had not been finalised. "The new law is aimed at establishing more tangible markers, than telephone instructions, to place someone`s name on the ECL," he said.