Imposing Limitations on the Right to Travel – An Analysis of Pakistan's Exit Control Law
20 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2014
Date Written: October 7, 2014
The Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance, 1981 (EFPO '81) was enacted during the tenure of General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq while he was the President of Pakistan. EFPO '81 vests power in the federal government to prohibit any person or class of persons from exiting out of Pakistan.
This treatise attempts to highlight that through EFPO '81 Pakistan's Federal Government is able to impose limitation on constitutionally guaranteed rights of Pakistani citizens. Whereas, Pakistan's Courts maintain that the right of a citizen to travel aboard is a fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 2A, 4, 9, 15 and 25 of Pakistan's Constitution, and that abridgment of these rights by the State through legislative or executive measures have to be tested on the touchstone of the Constitutional provisions. Hence, the moment Pakistan's Courts seize the opportunity of holding EFPO '81 unconstitutional, the more advantageous it will be for Pakistan to enhance its international image as a country that believes in due process, fundamental rights, and development of democratic traditions in Pakistan.
Keywords: Constitutional Law, International Criminal Law, Due Process, Civil Liberties, Human Rights, Right to Travel, Public Interest
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