Thursday, March 30

Pakistan immigration authorities on high alert to catch fleeing govt officials after Imran Khan’s ouster


Islamabad, April 10

Pakistan’s premier investigation agency FIA has put its immigration staff at all international airports on high alert with a directive to stop any government official linked to the Imran Khan regime from travelling abroad without a No-Objection Certificate, a media report said on Sunday.

The move came hours after Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted through a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly, the Lower House of Parliament, the Dawn news reported.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)’s immigration staff at all international airports of the country was placed on high alert and directed to stop all those government officials who intend to travel abroad without an NOC, it said.

The Airport Security Force was also put on high alert, the report said, adding that the checking of passengers travelling abroad was stepped up.

The FIA and airport officials said that they had received directives to remain alert and not to allow any government official from leaving the country without an NOC.

They, however, did not specify who gave them directives.

Last week, Farah Khan, a close friend of ousted Prime Minister Khan’s third wife Bushra Bibi, left for Dubai following reports that she could be arrested if a new government is installed in Pakistan.

Her husband Ahsan Jamil Gujjar has already left for the US.

The Opposition alleges that Farah received a huge sum of money for getting officers transferred and posted according to their choices, calling the scam the “mother of all scandals” amounting to 6 billion Pakistani rupees (USD 32 million).

Maryam Nawaz, the Pakistan Muslim League (N) Vice President and deposed premier Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, claimed that Farah has done this corruption at the behest of Imran and his wife.

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There are reports that close aides of Khan have planned to leave the country.

In a recent TV interview, Khan had claimed that the new government would launch a character assassination campaign against him and his wife.

Pakistan will have a new Prime Minister on Monday when the National Assembly, which was adjourned in the early hours of Sunday, reconvenes to elect a new head of the government after Khan was ousted from office through a no-confidence vote.

The combined Opposition has already named Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif as its joint candidate to replace Khan.

Khan, 69, the country’s 22nd prime minister, was unceremoniously removed from the office through the no-confidence vote, becoming the first premier in Pakistan’s history to be ousted through a no-trust motion.

The term of the current House is up to August, 2023.

No Pakistani prime minister has ever completed a full five-year term in office.

The removal of Khan has set in motion the process to elect the new leader of the house.

Khan, who came to power in 2018 with promises to create a ‘Naya Pakistan’, was dogged by claims of economic mismanagement as his government battled depleting foreign exchange reserves and double-digit inflation.

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