Shahbaz Files Petition to Have His Name Removed from Blacklist


Shahbaz Sharif, an opposition leader in the National Assembly, has decided to file a petition with the Lahore High Court. Through this application, he hopes to request the concerned authorities to remove his name from the no-fly list, so that he may be allowed to fly abroad for the purpose of necessary medical treatment. 

In this case, the petitioner is Shahbaz himself, who will be represented by his counsel. The respondents in this matter is the Federation of Pakistan through the Secretary of Ministry of Interior Affairs, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) through its Director General in Islamabad, as well as the Director General Immigrations and Passport (HQ) via the Director General of the Interior Ministry. 

The opposition leader contended that soon after the general elections were held in the year 2018, the current Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has started a campaign, which is based on a personal vendetta. He added that he believes that his character is being maligned, as he is being politically victimized. The petitioner further claimed that various executive authorities are colluding and conspiring against him. 

Shahbaz alleged that in this very context, numerous investigations and inquiries had been initiated based on malicious intent. He recalled that call-up notices had been issued to him and his family members by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). 

The petitioner went on to implore the court that he has the right to travel, as it is covered by Article 15 of the Pakistani Constitution, which relates to the freedom of movement. 

Nevertheless, the Article in question is subject to a couple of restrictions, which will be imposed by the law enforcement and other relevant authorities, if it is in the interest of the public. 

The petition claimed that the respondents were aware that Shahbaz will be free to travel abroad, if the court removed his name from the Exit Control List. However, his counsel claimed, the provisions contained in the 1981 Ordinance were invoked and his name was maliciously added to the blacklist. 

The statement further claimed that the respondents did not leave any stone unturned when it came to infringing the fundamental rights of the opposition leader. It alleged that these people had violated all the orders that had been passed by the Lahore High Court. 

The petitioner’s counsel further added that the Passports Act of 1974 consist no provision related to the blacklist. However, the Federal Government was the one responsible for formulating the Passport and Visa Manual of 2006. This document explicates the circumstances and the procedure, which call for the blacklisting of a person’s name by the relevant passport authorities. 

It was clarified that clause 51 (B) (i) of this Manual stated that only those people can be put on the blacklist who are suspected of having a hand in anti-state activities. Thus, the counsel went on to stated that there is no allegation or evidence that supports the fact that the petitioner was ever involved with such activities.