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Malik barred from travelling abroad as graft cases reopen

world Updated: Dec 17, 2009 21:50 IST

Pakistan's anti-corruption agency today revived cases against thousands of people, including politicians that were scrapped under a law struck down by the Supreme Court, as authorities barred 248 people, including Interior Minister Rehman Malik from travelling abroad.

Offices of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) across Pakistan reopened cases closed under National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), a controversial law issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf that was declared void by the Supreme Court yesterday.

NAB directed its officials to resume the prosecution of revived cases.

NAB asked the interior ministry to place the names of all beneficiaries of NRO on the "Exit Control List", a move that will bar them from travelling out of Pakistan.

A NAB spokesman said 248 people had been included in the ECL so far but did not name them.

However, TV news channels reported the interior ministry had included Rehman Malik, whose conviction was quashed under NRO, in the ECL. They also reported that Zardari's name was not on the ECL.

Arrest warrants were issued for NRO beneficiaries who were earlier declared "proclaimed offenders".

Bank accounts and properties of people whose convictions were quashed under the NRO had been sealed, officials said.

It was not immediately clear how NAB's move will affect President Asif Ali Zardari, who is among the over 8,000 people who benefited from NRO.