Exit Control List

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The Exit Control Lists (ECL; Urdu: ای سی ایل‎) is a system of border control maintained by the Government of Pakistan under Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance, 1981. Those persons on the list are prohibited from leaving Pakistan.[1]

Exit Control List
Agency overview
FormedDecember 21, 1981; 38 years ago (1981-12-21)
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionPakistan
Legal jurisdictionConstitution of Pakistan
Governing bodyGovernment of Pakistan
Constituting instrument
  • The Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance, 1981
Operational structure
HeadquartersPak Secretariat Islamabad, Capital Territory
Parent agencyMinistry of Interior (Pakistan)
Federal Investigation Agency


1. Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance, 1981, empowers the Federal Government to prohibit any person from proceeding abroad. Ordinarily following categories of persons are placed on ECL:-

  • (a) Persons involved in mass corruption and misuse of power/authority causing loss to the government funds/property.
  • (b) Government employees involved in economic crime where large government funds have been embezzled or institutional frauds committed.
  • c) Hardened criminals involved in acts of terrorism and conspiracy.
  • (d) Key directors of firms having tax default / liabilities of Rs. 10 million or more.
  • (e) Only 2 -3 key directors of firms having more than Rs. 100 million loan default / liabilities.
  • (f) Names of persons if recommended by the Registrar, High Courts / Supreme Court of Pakistan and Banking Courts only.
  • (g) Drug traffickers.

2. The On-Line System is operational at the Ministry linked with international airports at Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Islamabad and Faisalabad.

3. Any person aggrieved by the order of Federal Government regarding placement of his name on ECL, can under the law, file a Review Petition giving justifications for review and also can seek a personal hearing with the competent authority.

4. ECL is reviewed periodically to assess the need for further retention of a person on ECL.

Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was responsible for control on Exit Control List but now this responsibility has been shifted to Ministry of Interior and thus avoiding the previously experienced complications in this regard.


Recently, the government and Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) reached an agreement after which the latter ended its three-day-long nationwide protests against the Supreme Court's acquittal of Asia Bibi who had been sentenced to death in 2010 for blasphemy.[2]

One of the points both parties agreed on was that the government would "initiate the legal process" to place Asia Bibi's name on the Exit Control List.

After Asia Bibi's acquittal on October 31, the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) ordered their followers to protest and begin sit-ins across the country. The protests turned violent and saw destruction and vandalism of private property. However, the government stated that unless a person is declared a criminal, or there is another legal basis for action, the question of placing an individual's name on ECL would not arise.[3]


  1. ^ Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (2006). State of human rights in Pakistan. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  2. ^ Sirajuddin (2018-11-06). "Court to decide whether Aasia Bibi will be placed on ECL, says religious affairs minister". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  3. ^ "Govt providing security to Aasia Bibi and family: Shehryar Afridi | The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2018-11-07. Retrieved 2018-11-07.

Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance, 1981