No legal ground to apply travel ban on Zartaj Gul, says IHC

IHC Justice Tariq Mehmood issues written order on Zartaj’s plea seeking her removal from ECL

Zartaj Gul uploaded this picture on her Instagram account on May 4, 2024. —Instagram/ Zartaj Gul Wazir
  • IHC hears Zartaj’s plea seeking removal of name from ECL. 
  • Court says PTI leader neither absconding nor wanted in case. 
  • She was named in case of attack on a forces’ check post.

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday said there was no legal reason or moral justification for imposing travel restriction on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Zartaj Gul.

The high court made these remarks while hearing the PTI leader’s petition seeking removal of her name from the no-fly list.

IHC Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri issued a written order on the plea which sought removal of Zartaj’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL) so that she could travel to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj.

The IHC, in its order, stated that the interior secretary should appoint a senior officer who knew the law to assist the court and the authorised officer should be aware of the facts of the case. The court ordered the public officer should appear in the next hearing along with relevant documents.

The high court further remarked that according to the counsel, a number of cases were registered against the petitioner on May 9’s “protest” and she was facing those cases. The court said she was neither absconding nor was wanted in any case and had even secured a bail.

Issuing a notice to the interior secretary, the court has sought a reply from the official.

An anti-terrorism court on April 18 granted Zartaj interim bail in the May 9 case. After arguments from the lawyers, the judge had granted interim bail to the PTI leader until May 10.

She had been named in the case of the attack on a forces’ check post at Rahwali Cantt, Gujranwala, during a protest on May 9, 2023.

Speaking to the media persons after appearing in the court, Zartaj Gul had said that many patriotic citizens had been falsely implicated in terrorism cases.

“On May 9, I was present in Dera Ghazi Khan, while cases of terrorism have been filed against me throughout Punjab,” she had said.

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