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Zulfi Bukhari says being victimised because of friendship with Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Responding to a number of allegations of financial impropriety and temporary removal of his name from ECL, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s close friend Zulfi Bukhari on Thursday claimed that not Imran Khan but he himself followed a “routine process” which led to the removal of his name from ECL allowing him to fly to Saudi Arabia, ARY News reported.

In a video message, Zulfi Bukhari maintained that he only knew about the placement of his name on a blacklist at the airport after which he inquired FIA officials about the removal process and followed it to get the temporary exemption.

“Imran Khan didn’t telephone anyone, I just sat there and went through a routine procedure after which I was granted exemption,” said Bukhari.

‘Victimisation’

About the report that he is wanted for a “corruption” inquiry by National Accountability Bureau (NAB),  he said that he is only wanted for a general inquiry after the Panama Leaks revealed his offshore firms.

“I was born and raised in London and my whole business is abroad, neither I nor my lawyer knows if any of the 400 Pakistanis (named in Panama Leaks) is on the blacklist,” said Zulfi Bukhari.

He maintained that he is being victimised because he is Imran Khan’s friend but is ready to pay this price for “Naya Pakistan”.

Bukhari, who came back to the country today, has also moved the court against his name being placed on the no-fly list.

It is pertinent to note here that Zulfi Bukhari flew with Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia on Monday despite being on the Exit Control List (ECL) for dodging an inquiry by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Zulfi Bukhari is accused of owning offshore companies and having assets beyond his known sources of income and has dodged several notices from the anti-graft authority.

A letter written by Section Officer ECL to Director General Immigration and Passports says that Ministry of Interior has decided to grant one time permission to Zulfi Bukhari for performance of Umrah.

The permission was reportedly granted within hours after Bukhari was not allowed to fly with Khan for Umrah by FIA and immigration staff.

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