The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on a petition filed against placement of Zulfi Bukhari’s name on a blacklist – an issue that arose when the London-based businessman attempted to leave for Saudi Arabia last month. Bukhari, a close aide of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, was barred from leaving Pakistan when he proceeded to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah on June 11. Bukhari was later granted a one-time permission to go abroad for six days by the Interior Ministry.
Resuming hearing of the case earlier today, Justice Aamer Farooq questioned what law was in place regarding blacklisting of any individual. It was requested to place [Bukhari’s] name on ECL, but he was instead placed on blacklist, the judge remarked, questioning why Bukhari’s name was removed from the blacklist after a phone call.
The judge further questioned how an individual with dual nationality could be blacklisted. Deputy attorney general, in attendance during the hearing, informed the court that Bukhari’s CNIC, not passport, was cancelled. The judge then questioned the legal standing of the procedure, to which the official responded that the Interior Ministry had a standard operating procedure for such matters.—INP