The Perils of Exit Control Lists (ECL)
By Dr Liaqat Malik, LLM, PhD
In Pakistan, a citizen who is declared ‘wanted’ by the law enforcement agencies including the police, and any other person who is charged with corruption and is being investigated by the authorities, can be prevented from leaving the country by the Government of Pakistan.
Authority is granted by the “Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance, 1981”, which authorises the Federal Government of Pakistan to restrict certain persons from leaving Pakistan. Exit Control lists were historically under the control of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Recently however, the Ministry of Interior has taken overall responsibility for this, mainly to avoid complications that were experienced previously (Aman, 2018) 1.
For a long time, ECLs have been used as a tool to blackmail Pakistani citizens and as a tool of punishment without charge or trial without limitation. Citizens have only a limited right to relief from their name being placed on an ECL and risk damage to their reputation as inferences are drawn as to the reasons why they are on an ECL.
One serious concern is that citizens are not even informed by the government when their name is being place on an ECL and they often find out for the first time when either they reach the airport and are stopped from exiting Pakistan at great embarrassment and distress, or sometimes the fact is leaked to the media and the first time the citizen discovers their name is on an ECL is when the fact is reported in the media.
The process of ECL has long been subject to debate in Pakistan which has not only made it a political concern but also raised issues over its procedure and policies implemented over the past few years. The process which ideally should be an effective approach for preventing accused people from exiting the country has now become mostly a political weapon for citizens to endure.
Similar methods are also pursued by other countries but for a different cause such as to maintain and sustain the criminal justice system, unlike in developing countries such as of Pakistan where it is used for political victimization.
International Community Travel Bans
The UK also uses international travel bans. This system is created by UN and EU means. The decision to impose a travel ban on any person is either made by the “Instrument of Council of the European Union” or by the “Security Council of the United Nation” (Blackbourn andWalker, 2016)
Travel bans control or restrict the movement of any person who is recognised as being associated with any group or organisation involved in particular illegal activities not considered acceptable by international society.
The members of the EU and the UN must reject the entrance and exit of individuals thought their country if a travel ban is approved. Under UK law, there is no provision for individuals to challenge if they are restricted by an “International Travel Ban”. An individual who is restricted by a “travel ban instrument” is denied permission to leave the country, under “section 8 B (1) (a) of the 1971 act”.
Current Situation in Pakistan
Politicians as well as ordinary citizens continue to face serious harassment through this law by the government especially those “civil society activists” who raise their voice against politicians.
In Pakistan due to a corrupt system, people who have powers can easily remove their name from an ECL if they are affiliated with the ruling party of the time. This procedure needs to change.
The Exit Control List Amendment Bill 2018 has been approved by the Senate Standing Committee which suggests that unless an order has been made by the Supreme Court or Trial court a citizen’s name should not be placed on an Exit Control List.
This ensures a separation between the executive and the judiciary and needs to be implemented immediately and effectively to safeguard human rights so that ECL are not controlled by the Ministers of State.
Over the decades Pakistan has failed to implement adequate legislation to protect individual rights. When one government obtains power, the last government is often prosecuted. There needs to be a system whereby draconian laws are removed immediately.
The Parliament of Pakistan needs to urgently reform the present legal system and adopt a similar one to the UK by introducing the formation of a new Administrative Court (with High Court jurisdiction) whereby all applications in the first instance shall be dealt with through the Administrative Court such as constitutional rights, suo motto, ECL and in the event of a point of law of public importance, courts can certify and leap frog the procedure to the Supreme Court. In the alternative, the citizen or the state should be granted a right of appeal to the Supreme Court and courts should be able to award costs against the losing party. This will filter out malicious and frivolous applications.
Dr Liaqat Malik, LLM, PhD, March 2019
1 Aman Khan, N., 2018. Pakistan, constitution and nation.
2 Blackbourn, J. and Walker, C., 2016. Interdiction and Indoctrination: The Counter‐Terrorism and Security Act 2015. The Modern Law Review, 79(5), pp.840-870.
The Effectiveness of Anti-Money Laundering Legislation in Pakistan
By Dr Liaqat Malik LLM, Ph.D
Money laundering is the process of concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through various banking transfers or commercial transactions 1. The Vienna Convention has made clear that money laundering should be criminalised together with the criminal financing of terrorism under the Terrorist Financing Convention.
This paper provides a critical analysis of anti-money laundering policies and legislation in Pakistan and outlines the reforms needed to bring about effective change.
Pakistan continues to face challenges and threats due to significant levels of money laundering undertaken nationally on a daily basis by citizens of Pakistan, foreign nationals and corporate bodies, all of which is significantly increasing criminal activities such as corruption, trafficking and violence.
Money launderers in Pakistan are filling their pockets by illegal ways and misusing their power and position for the lust of wealth and money 2. Money laundering has a detrimental effect on Pakistan society, affecting its economy, community, government and the general social wellbeing of the state 3. It allows wrong doers and lawbreakers to enjoy illegal actions ‘without the noticing of law enforcement’ 4.
Money laundering acts as a barrier to the progress and development of the country by causing the growth and development of financial crises and poverty in Pakistan. There are many high profile cases concerning money laundering in Pakistan, a recent example being the case of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
National Accountability Courts
National Accountability Courts have also been established specifically to hear cases in the public interest concerning public officials charged with money laundering and related offences.
Trials and Convictions through NAB Enforcement Agency
The establishment of the National Executive Committee is a major step in the right direction, encouraging representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SBP and NAB to participate and all major stakeholders are protecting Pakistan from money laundering and terrorist financing 4. A centralised database framework has been established of suspicious individuals and transactions in the form of equipped reference points for marking future activities.
NAB law enforcement initiatives require the support of financial organisations, and many banks have established compliance sections with specific anti-money laundering (AML) contact points 5.
More recently, another regional body known as FATF came into action for combating money laundering and terrorism in Pakistan.
In June 2017, Pakistan was added to the list of counties who have still not taken sufficient steps to remove threats to the economic sector in terms of corruption and money laundering 3. Further, Pakistan was in the top ten list compiled by Paris which declared that Pakistan is involved in money laundering which has become the source of terrorism and corruption, supplying money to terrorists.
Pakistan should understand how the country’s problems are exacerbated by money laundering and financing risks. The government should implement and enforce stricter measures including empowering agencies to implement actions to assess risk. It should apply resources aimed at ensuring effective risk mitigation. There is a necessity to review the national anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws and regulations and to designate policies that are responsible
Control Measures – Critical Analysis
Pakistan has introduced multiple reforms and policies in an attempt to eliminate money laundering from the state.
In 2007 the Government introduced a legal framework known as the Anti- Money Laundering Ordinance of 2007. Pakistan criminalised money laundering by setting up the Financial Intelligence Unit (FMU) in December 2007. The FMU became operational after the approval by the National Executive Committee in 2008. The main objective was to eliminate such crimes from the country, yet its implementation is still not successful 4.
In 2010, the Anti-Money Laundering Law of 2010 was introduced to co-ordinate all relevant law enforcers. The primary objective was to implement appropriate legislation to assure proper exploration, conviction and prosecution of money-laundering transgressions 4.The bill combines all the necessary features of Pakistan’s legal structure, which previously worked largely in isolation in order to prevent and control money laundering in the state 3.
The Anti-Money Laundering Law, 2010 and its supportive regulations have laid a solid basis for curbing the country’s money laundering and terrorist financing activities 2. Under the 2010 Law, a senior National Executive Committee was established, consisting of four ministers, the President of the National Bank of Pakistan and the Chairman of the Pakistan Securities and Exchange Commission, who have full authority to establish an “anti-money laundering act and Terrorist Financing (AML / CTF) strategy” 4. The website of the Financial Monitoring Unit states that there are more than 20 laws, 3 different sets of policies and regulations and 10 various reporting formats and notes with the guidelines to control and to eliminate the crime of money laundering
Financial institutions should retain all compulsory records of domestic and international transactions for at least five years to make them able to quickly comply with the information requirements of the experienced authorities. Such data and records must be sufficient and detailed enough to allow the re-establishment of personal transactions in order to provide evidence of criminal movement where necessary.
If an offence is already suspected of having being committed, then prior to trial, Judges of the High Court ought to be empowered with the ability to grant freezing orders on assets albeit with a right of redress to ensure individuals rights are safeguarded. After conviction, trial judges must be granted wide ranging powers to confiscate assets that are found to be from the proceeds of crime.
Trials of public officials in the Accountability Courts in cases of public interest are a step in the right direction however a high percentage of judgements from these courts are overturned on appeal to the High Court. It is recommended therefore that Accountability Courts, due to the importance of the cases being tried, ought to consist of a bench of 3; a lay person magistrate (qualified in finance), and two judges, a trial judge of the Accountability Court and a High Court judge. As well as providing more expertise, the panel of 3 will help to minimise the potential for bias or corruption. The right to appeal a judgement of the Accountability Court to the High Court should be maintained.
Accountability Court trials are held in public however given the public interest, the trials should also be broadcast to minimise false information provided after the conclusion of a trial when contradictory statements are given to the press from the prosecution, the defendant and the judges.
It is also imperative in the interest of justice that the losing party pay the costs.
Money laundering is acting as a barrier to the progress and development of Pakistan by causing the growth and development of financial crises and poverty in Pakistan.
The economy and Pakistan society in general needs to be protected. Sufficient legislation needs to not only be enacted but also vigorously enforced. Further, more co-ordination between different state bodies needs to take place to tackle this issue particularly where companies are being used to facilitate money laundering on a large scale.
Pakistan must continue to take this issue seriously and only then can the problems be minimised to ensure that Pakistan can maintain its growth and sustainability both nationally and internationally.
Dr Liaqat Malik, 2019
- Oxford English dictionary definition, 3rd edition, 2005
2. Chaikin, D. and Sharman, J., 2009. Corruption and money laundering: a symbiotic relationship. Springer.
3. Zdanowicz, J.S., 2009. Trade-based money laundering and terrorist financing. Review of law & economics, 5(2), pp.855-878.
- Amjad, R., Arif, G.M. and Irfan, M., 2012. Preliminary study: Explaining the ten-fold increase in remittances to Pakistan 2001-2012.
- Ihsan, I. and Razi, A., 2012. Money laundering-A negative impact on economy. Global Journal of Management And Business Research, 12(17), Naheem, M.A., 2015. Trade based money laundering: towards a working definition for the banking sector. Journal of Money Laundering Control, 18(4), pp.513-524
Amoore, L. and de Goede, M., 2011. Risky geographies: aid and enmity in Pakistan. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 29(2), pp.193-202.
Chêne, M., 2008. Hawala remittance system and money laundering. U4 Expert Answer. Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Norway..
Usman Kemal, M., 2014. Anti-money laundering regulations and its effectiveness. Journal of Money Laundering Control, 17(4), pp.416-427.
DR LIAQAT MALIK - CRAZY MEDIA MOGUL MANCHESTER MILLIONNAIRE
Dr Malik supported Imran Khan, PTI with free air time to raise funds for his hospital and his party for the last 14 years. He even demonstrated and played a major part in the demonstrations when ImDr Malik is a crazy media entrepreneur. He supported Benazir Bhutto and lobbied for her to form a democratic government. Due to the support for Bhutto during General Musharaff’s regime, two of his staff members were killed and his television station was repeatedly blocked but when the PPP came into power crazy Dr Malik took no part in the government.
ran Khan was arrested and his sisters assaulted.
Crazy Dr Malik took no part in the government when Imran Khan came into power.
Dr Malik raised over £8.5 million for Kashmiri earthquake victims and in recent years raised money for Pakistan flood victims with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s mother in law.
Prior to his media career and during his time as a fantastic lawyer in the UK, Dr Malik was always fighting for justice of the minority groups and immigrants and prisoners rights including ensuring muslim prisoners (as well as schoolchildren) have the right to halal meat. Dr Malik also changed the law, giving rights for people to have prayer rooms at airports. He made government enemies by successfully challenging government decisions on a regular basis in the High Court, holding the government to account.
Because Dr Malik challenged the establishment, the Home Office thought he was crazy and he was not flavour of the month and tried to do all sorts of things and dirty tricks to stop him working because they could not beat him in court.
Although modest about his wealth, Dr Malik is already a multi-millionaire and his current property and banking projects are on course to make him a billionaire within the next few years.
In the 80’s he had his own aircraft which he used to charter to Malta and Spain. He also had his own financial company which was listed on the stock exchange. He had his own mortgage company. Dr Malik also had a unit trust fund investment company where he would invest funds on behalf of clients in the Far East and Asia where investors would make hundreds of thousands of pounds returns.
Crazy as he is, we all love Dr Malik as he has a big heart and does a lot for his community. Nothing stops him making money even when he’s not trying. Keep up the good work Dr Malik.
Article by Thomas Jones, (Former employee)
Two crazy pakistani millionaires in Manchester - Dr Liaqat Malik and Aneel musssarat both fond of great parties for the community
Dr Liaqat Malik, Media Mogul, Millionnaire
Dr Liaqat Malik is not just crazy, he is intelligent as well. Dr Liaqat Malik holds a PhD from the University of Manchester in Administrative and Public Law, a Masters Degree in Legal Studies from the University of Wolverhampton, a Graduate Diploma in Public Law from Staffordshire University, solicitors qualifying exams from the College of Law/BPP Law School.
Dr Liaqat Malik won 7 Lawyer of the Year awards during his career. He had over 30 reported cases where landmark decisions were made by the Courts. Dr Malik also made an average of 4-500 judicial review applications to the High Court to develop public law, prison law, immigration etc.
Dr Malik is one of the most highly qualified Pakistanis in the UK. Although he has helped politicians in the past, he never took an active role in the government. When Imran Khan started the PTI, Dr Malik was the only media company who broadcast and gave him airtime in the UK and worldwide. Now every other media channel has jumped on the bandwagon.
Dr Malik’s projects in the pipeline will not only help the UK economy but also the Pakistani economy as he is planning on building 5,000 properties in his home town of Faislabad and 200 in the UK. His banking project will also create many new jobs and wealth in both countries.
I have seen Dr Malik in action as his former manager. We travelled to Hong Kong, the Philippines and Africa where Dr Malik represented politicians, government officials and businessmen and acted as arbitrator in many instances.
Dr Malik has a positive attitude towards business and can make millions. Although he is intelligent he is crazy. If anyone should utilise their expertise and enter politics it is him.
I found on the web I did not know Dr Liaqat Malik was Member of Immigration Law Panel from 1999 to 2002 and than extended for further 3 years to 2004 – Zindabad Dr Malik you served well the Pakistan community proud of you
Dr Liaqat Malik, Leading Pakistani Top Ten Constitutional Lawyer
Dr Liaqat Malik is the leading top ten lawyer in Constitution Law in the UK with a PhD in Constitution Law at the University of Manchester, former lecturer in Public Law at the University of Manchester and Salford.
It is a pleasure to write about Dr Malik and his achievements. I am aware that during his legal career he defended over 35 murder cases and numerous judicial reviews in the High Court, Court of Appeal and he Supreme Court, including many public interest cases and cases involving people asserting their constitutional rights.
The new Pakistan government needs to reform their constitutional law such as issues about court services, electoral law, civil and criminal procedure, access to justice, employment rights and amendments to the constitutional law in order to recruit key workers such as overseas Pakistani and I believe that Dr Malik can assist in this as a legal expert and analyst. In his career there has been so many cases he represented which changed the law and made a great contribution to the fundamental rights of individuals.
Pakistan needs to move on with the times. There is so much red tape due to the involvement of politicians and in most cases the politicians decide who gets what job. The executive has no say.
The Pakistan constitution needs to be modernised to reflect the change in times and so that individuals know their legal rights and access to justice.
I have known Dr Malik for over 30 years and he is a well respected member of the Pakistani community.
Advisor to the Diplomatic Missions