Political turmoil deepened in Pakistan as the country’s anti-corruption agency barred Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar from leaving the country and has also banned 250 other officials from going abroad following the Supreme Court striking down the graft amnesty.

Mukhtar, who was leaving for China on an official visit said the immigration officers barred him from boarding a PIA flight late last night along with the Navy Chief. He said he planned to take delivery of a new warship.

The Minister said his name was on an “exit list” restricting travel and that federal investigation authorities said he cannot leave.

He was one of thousands of people affected by Wednesday’s court decision annulling as “unconstitutional” a 2007 amnesty that had protected Zardari and ministers from corruption charges.

The anti-corruption agency also revived graft cases against politicians, including Interior Minister Rehman Malik and barred their travel abroad.

The ruling has shaken the PPP-led government in Pakistan, with the opposition demanding the resignation of Zardari and his entire cabinet.

The anti-corruption agency, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) said that scores of officials were now under investigation following the Supreme Court verdict, which means that upto 8000 graft and other cases dating back to the early 90s have or will soon be reopened.

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