FIA blacklist: Legal or illegal
ISLAMABAD - The Senate on Monday adopted the report of Standing Committee on Law and Justice regarding procedure for putting names in the black list and its legal value and expressed concern that the list existed without any legal sanction.
Chairman of the Standing Committee Senator Javed Abbasi moved the motion for consideration of the report. Initiating debate on the report, Senator Abbasi said the list had no legal value and some people were stopped at airports despite having valid passports. The list was being misused and it was in practice since 1957, he said adding the committee called officials of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to ascertain facts.
The misuse of the list was reportedly done at Karachi and Peshawar airports, he said and added Exit Control List (ECL) could be used to stop persons from traveling abroad. Senator Sherry Rehman told the House that specific such lists were being used to stop people from traveling and deny citizens their fundamental rights. Senator Sikander Mandhro said the lists were against legal and fundamental rights of people. He said House should be informed about the departments that put hurdle in way of people, going abroad. Speaking on the matter, Senator Raza Rabbani said the government had two months to implement the recommendations of the Upper House. He said Ministry of Interior, Immigration and Passport Departments and FIA failed to tell the committee about the source of black list. The list was ultra vires of the Constitution and it was violation of the Article 15 of the Constitution. It was stated in the Constitution that any law contradicting fundamental rights was ultra vires, he noted. He said the issue should not be taken lightly and it was not right to say that the list existed since 1957. The passport manual had no legal sanction as it was not made according to the Passport Act, he added. The Senator said passport manual was amended in 1962 but there was no clause that sanctioned a black list. The committee was surprised to know that Interior Ministry, FIA and Passport and Immigration Offices were not taking responsibility for creation of the black list. He said the committee asked the officials how a person who was accused of violation of Article 6 and subversion of Constitution got away from the country but they did not have any answer. Senator Raza Rabbani said even labourers who were bound to reach their duties in foreign countries were stopped with this black list and money was allegedly extorted from them. Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood commented why an impression was given without any proof that the black list was getting maintained for the last three months only. He said Director General FIA should be called again to determine why such a list was needed. Senator Mir Kabir said a committee should be formed to further look into the matter. Senator Sarfraz Bugti opined that it should be kept in mind that Pakistan was fighting a long drawn war against terrorism and the enemy was barbarous. The lists were provided by intelligence agencies and it should be realized that security institutions were rendering sacrifices every single day, he added. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said Parliament had the right to protect rights of citizens, adding Ministry of Interior could properly respond on the matter and the minister would be in the House in the next sitting to shed light on the situation. He asked in the past Aimal Kansi, Afia Siddiqui and Ramzi Yousaf were handed over to other countries under which law. There ought to be a way to further strengthen hands of security forces, he continued. Chairman Standing Committee on Communications Senator Hidayatullah presented report of his committee on the matter raised by Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak regarding Sukkur Multan (M-5) Motorway. The House deferred debate on the calling attention notice of Senator Sherry Rehman on missing of revenue collection target of Rs 175 billion by Federal Board of Revenue which was causing a slowdown in the economy.