ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Interior minister Azam Khan confessed on Thursday that he allowed Pakistn Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan’s close aide Zulfi Bukhari to travel abroad.
In a briefing to Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Thursday, Azam explained that he was informed by the interior secretary that Bukhari wanted to travel to Saudi Arabia with PTI chief to perform Umrah, but was barred from leaving the country owing to his name being on the blacklist.
“Bukhari was granted the permission to travel for six days when the interior secretary told me that he had submitted an affidavit stating that he would return to Pakistan,” Azam stated.
On the other hand, the interior minister rebuffed all impressions that Imran Khan appraoched him to remove Bukhari’s name from the blacklist.
Earlier today, caretaker information and law minister Ali Zafar clarified that Bukhari’s name was on the blacklist not the exit control list (ECL), however, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had requested to place his name on the ECL.
Petition filed in LHC against Interim Interior Minister
In Lahore High Court (LHC), Pakistan People’s Party leader Faisal Mir filed a petition seeking removal of interim Interior Minister Azam Khan on the allegations of illegally allowing Imran Khan’s close aide Zulfi Bukhari to travel abroad despite his name on the no-fly list.
LHC has reserved verdict on the maintainability of the petition.
The petition contended that Azam Khan is the member of the board of Imran Khan Foundation and his decision to allow Bukhari to travel abroad depicts that he is partial.
Due to such biased behavior of caretaker minister, the prospects of fair elections are very improbable, hence the minister should be sacked from his post, the petition said.
IHC orders Bukhari to cooperate in NAB’s investigation
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) earlier directed Imran Khan’s friend Zulfi Bukhari to join an ongoing NAB probe against him.
Justice Aamer Farooq of IHC was hearing two petitions clubbed together: one filed by Bukhari seeking removal of his name from the blacklist, and the other where a petitioner has challenged the removal of Bukhari’s name from the blacklist which allowed him to leave the country for Umrah.
“Zulfi Bukhari failed to appear before the accountability body despite being issued notices,” NAB prosecutor informed the court.
Defense Secretary and the Interior Secretary have been summoned in personal capacity by the court in the next hearing, which will be held on June 27.