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SHC issues notice to Ali Jahangir Siddiqui at NAB’s request to place him on the ECL

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SHC issues notice to Ali Jahangir Siddiqui at NAB's request to place him on the ECL
The federal anti-graft watchdog informed the SHC that it feared that the accused might flee the country, requesting the court to order his name to be included in the ECL. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has issued a notice to Pakistani ambassador-designate to the United States (US) Ali Jahangir on the NAB’s request to place his name on the Exit Control List (ECL).

A two-member bench issued the notice to Jahangir while hearing a corruption case against him. A NAB prosecutor informed the court that the ambassador-designate was charged with selling shares at an expensive price, causing a loss of Rs40 billion to the national exchequer.

The SHC was informed that the accused, despite having been served a notice by the bureau, was not cooperating with the federal anti-graft watchdog in the investigations. The bureau issued a call up notice to him, however, it did not order his arrest.

NAB had sent a request to the federal interior minister to place Jahangir’s name on the ECL but the request was withdrawn following a judicial order.

The federal anti-graft watchdog informed the SHC that it feared that the accused might flee the country, requesting the court to order his name to be included in the ECL.

A defence lawyer argued that any inquiry related to foreign exchange could not be carried out without the approval of the State Bank of Pakistan. The shares were transferred in 2012, he said, claiming that Jahangir had resigned from the board of directors in 2010.

The lawyer alleged that political opponents of his client had initiated propaganda against him after he was nominated as the ambassador to the US. The lawyer argued that NAB’s request to include Jahangir’s name in the ECL was based on ill intentions.

After hearing the arguments, the SHC ordered the accused to submit a written reply on May 15. The court also sought reports from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, NAB and other authorities. In the meantime, Jahangir was directed to cooperate with NAB in the investigations.