The Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz was disallowed from boarding a flight to Doha on Monday night as his name has been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL). As per a local news channel, reported citing sources within the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
The FIA sources said that Hamza was to travel via Qatar Airways from Lahore airport when he was stopped from boarding by immigration officials, since his name had been placed on the blacklist.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) requested that the name of Hamza Shahbaz who is facing an inquiry over possession of possessions beyond known sources of income, be placed on the ECL, the sources said; and adding that NAB is also conducting an inquiry into the Ramzan Sugar Mills.
Hamza Shahbaz’s name was placed on the no-fly list amid doubts that he may escape abroad during the investigation in the manner of his brother Salman, who was successful in leaving the country, the FIA sources confirmed.
In November, NAB had written to the interior ministry requesting the placement of Hamza and Salman’s names on the Exit Control List. Salman has been in London and has missed the last three hearings in NAB.
As per NAB explanation the brothers in their capacity as directors had a bridge linking to their mills constructed in Chiniot city using public funds. The Rs.200 million’s project was accepted by then chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, the NAB said.
Hamza is also facing an inquiry into the Saaf Pani Company case for presiding over some meetings of the board of directors and allegedly issuing orders regarding the award of contracts. The NAB explained Hamza was not even a member of the board at the time.
PML-N spokesperson and MNA Marriyum Aurangzeb told that Hamza had not been divested; but rather prohibited from boarding the flight at the immigration counter, where he was told that he had been placed on the no-fly list.
Aurangzeb stated, “He is not a terrorist, he is a responsible citizen and politician,” he added that the party should be informed under what law Hamza’s name was placed on the no-fly list.
“We will raise the issue at all relevant forums,” she stated. He has consulted his lawyer and legal action will be taken soon.