Zulfi Bukhari episode

CARETAKER Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk, on Wednesday, sought a report from the Interior Ministry as how PTI Chairman’s close aide Zulfiqar Hussain Bukhari aka Zulfi Bukhari, managed to leave for Saudi Arabia even though his name had been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL). Federal Cabinet also reportedly took up the matter the same day.
The Interior Ministry might have powers to grant one time waiver as it did in this case but the way the permission was granted raised several issues and was, therefore, highlighted by media. It was reported that the man was first stopped from proceeding abroad by the relevant agencies but he was allowed to go after the PTI leader made a telephone call to someone. Mr. Bukhari is being investigated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for owning an offshore firm that was revealed in the Panama Papers and his name was placed on the ECL on NAB’s request, which too was not taken on board while granting waiver to him to proceed abroad. The episode shows laws and rules are just for the common man but influential people succeed in bending the law as per their own convenience and needs. This makes mockery of the principle of rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution. Caretakers have been installed to make decisions and take measures strictly in a neutral way and they are expected to go by the book. Decisions that convey the impression of being made under political influence would surely undermine the credibility of the caretaker set-up. There is extreme polarisation in the society for understandable reasons and the caretaker governments both at the Centre and the Provinces will have to tread the path very cautiously. We hope that the Caretaker Prime Minister, who has a reputation of a man of principles, would ensure that perfect neutrality is demonstrated by his Administration.

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