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Pakistan

Web Desk
June 13, 2018
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Inside story: How Zulfi Bukhari traveled to Saudi Arabia despite being on ECL

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan’s close aide Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari alias Zulfi Bukhari was allowed to proceed abroad despite being on the Exit Control List (ECL).

Zulfi Bukhari accompanied Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Moneka to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah after being granted special one-time permission by the interior ministry to travel abroad and return to the country within six days.

The move drew widespread anger on social media from opposition parties, journalists and activists, prompting Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk to seek a report from the Ministry of Interior.

On Monday, while Imran along with Bushra Maneka reached Islamabad Airport to proceed for Umrah, Zulfi also accompanied him. The FIA immigration staff refused to allow Zulfi Bukhari to board the plane since the Ministry of Interior had placed him on the ECL. This development immediately created panic among Imran Khan’s entourage.

Sources privy to the development said Interior Secretary on the directives of caretaker Interior Minister Azam Khan removed Zulfi Bukhari’s name from blacklist, and allowed him to travel to Saudi Arabia with Imran Khan.

According to sources, caretaker interior minister Azam Khan is member of the board of Imran Khan Foundation and his name is listed on the foundation’s website.

Azam Khan had also attended meeting of the board of directors of Imran Khan Foundation in 2010-2011.

Earlier, The News, citing the sources, had reported that, Imran spoke to some “high up” and FIA was forced to allow Zulfi to board the plane despite being on ECL.

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