Pakistan passes two key bills to get out of FATF grey list

Pakistan FATF list

Before the FATF review of Pakistan’s case, NA yesterday passed an Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and United Nations (Security Council) (Amendment) Bill, 2020 with a majority vote. FATF will decide in October whether to move Pakistan to the white list or vice versa.

Parliament amended the Anti-Terrorism Act and the United Nations Security Council Act and now the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog would analyze the report to be sent by Pakistan.

The new changes are aimed at empowering the federal government to take steps against terrorists including freezing and seizure of assets, travel ban and arms embargo.

The UN Security Council Resolution 1373 sanctions member states to implement counter-terrorism measures, especially countering its financing through their domestic laws. This obligation has been implemented in Pakistan through Anti-Pakistan Act, 1997.

Read more: Judicial Commission completed APS massacre probe

PML-N’s leader Khwaja Asif while responding to the speech of foreign minister regarding bills said, “We want a flourishing economy and Pakistan should come out of the grey list,”.

FM Qureshi says new FATF bills will help move Pakistan to white list

Then on Thursday, while speaking in the Senate, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Pakistan had passed the key legislations to get out from the grey list and move to white list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

So far Pakistan has failed to get out of the FATF grey list and with the current amendments, a fresh report would be sent to FATF for their considerations in October, which would decide whether to move Pakistan to the white list or vice versa.

Bills passed amid rumpus by the opposition

The government invited the opposition to discuss the bills but the opposition demanded that the NAB revision ordinance should also be discussed at the same time. The opposition has said that without the revision of the NAB ordinance, no further talks are possible. The government agreed to continue talks with the opposition.

Prime Minister has been informed about 35 revisions of opposition. The opposition does not want the accountability of 14 years of its era. Also, opposition desires to minimize the tenure of chairman NAB. The cases of money laundering may be kept out of the jurisdiction of NAB and only the corruption cases above 1 million should be in the range of NAB.

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