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August 13, 2020

NA passes five FATF-related bills with majority

Top Story

August 13, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on Wednesday urging the government that the name of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) should be written as “Hazrat Muhammad Rasool Allah Khatamun Nabiyin Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam” in all official and non-official documents. The resolution was moved by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan.

In another resolution, the House recommended that the speech of founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947 regarding minorities should also be made a part of the syllabus. The resolution was moved by MNA Dr Darshan.

The National Assembly also passed five FATF-related bills including the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill with majority after reaching the consensus with major opposition parties -- PML-N, PPP and JUI-F. The consensus between the government and the opposition was reached on Tuesday evening after the government agreed to incorporate the amendments of the opposition in the FATF-related bills which were passed by the National Assembly on Wednesday.

However, Minister for Law and Justice Farogh Naseem on the request of Maulana Akbar Chitrali deferred the Islamabad Capital Territory Waqf Properties Bill, 2020.

The bills passed by the House were the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Sections 6, 11EE, 11J, 11N, 11O, 11OO, 11Q, 19 and 21EE); the Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2020; the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020; the Control of Narcotic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2020; and the Islamabad Capital Territory Trust Bill, 2020. The Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) bill is aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the implementation of the orders passed by the federal government under the Anti-terrorism Act, 1997 and the United Nations (Security Council) Act, 1948.

However, Chief of BNP-M Sardar Akhtar Mengal announced that his party neither supports the bill nor opposes it. The PML-N legislator Shahnawaz Ranjha withdrew amendments of the PML-N from the bill.

Farogh Naseem said it is a historic day that the FATF-related legislation is being carried out with consensus in the larger interest of the country. He said whitening the economy and checking terror financing is important to take the country forward on the path of development. He said it is also the government’s aim to simplify the legislation and ensure protection of fundamental rights of the people.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said terror financing and money laundering was a menace that the country needed to confront and eradicate. “Long deliberations were held with the opposition parties to reach consensus on the FATF-related legislation,” he said.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the suggestions put forward by the opposition had been incorporated in the bill as part of the amendments.

Speaking on the bill, Syed Naveed Qamar of the PPP said the definition of financial terrorism has been changed in the money laundering bill. He said the purpose of the anti-money laundering was to stop the black economy and in the bill even it was made mandatory for the jeweller to provide details of the customer.

“We wanted the end of Benami transaction in the country and if anyone was doing the business on someone else’s name then this should be ended,” he said. Naveed Qamar said the sword of FATF was hanging over the country since long and there were some mistakes of the past governments and businessmen were also responsible.

Shahnawaz Ranjha said that government has incorporated the PML-N’s amendments to the bill. Shahida Akhtar Ali of the JUI-F said the party’s objection was only on the procedure of the legislation and on the definition of terrorist. “We only wanted for the transparent legislation and we are taking part in the legislation in the interest of the country,” she said.