Pak Senate approves two FATF-related Bills

Islamabad, July 30

Pakistan’s Senate on Thursday unanimously authorised two Bills associated to the powerful situations set by the worldwide cash laundering and terrorist financing watchdog FATF, a day after they had been handed within the National Assembly amidst vociferous protest from the Opposition events.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Amendment Bill, 2020, and the Anti-Terrorism Act Amendment Bill, 2020, had been introduced by Advisor to Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Senator Babar Awan.

The Bills embody measures of freezing and seizure of property, journey ban, and arms embargo on the entities and people, who’re designated on the sanctions listing of the United Nations and impose heavy nice and long run jails for these facilitating militancy.

The two Bills handed by the National Assembly on Wednesday fulfil varied necessities of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which put Pakistan on its gray listing in June 2016 after Islamabad agreed to implement a 27-point plan of motion to enhance its authorized regime to curb cash laundering and terror financing.

The UN Security Council Resolution 1373 made it incumbent on the member states to implement counter-terrorism measures, particularly countering the financing of terrorism by means of their home legal guidelines.

The laws was a part of efforts by Pakistan to maneuver from the FATF’S gray listing to the white listing.

The FATF put Pakistan on the gray listing in June 2018 and requested Islamabad to implement a plan of motion by the tip of 2019 however the deadline was prolonged afterward resulting from COVID-19.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi thanked the Senate members for approving the Bills and exuded confidence that after this laws, Pakistan will come out of the FATF gray listing.

Law Minister Faroogh Naseem in his video message congratulated the nation over the passage of the Bills within the Senate.

“This legislation will help us meet the deadline of FATF,” he stated.

According to officers, an implementation report can be submitted to the FATF by August 6.

The National Assembly handed the 2 Bills with a majority vote amid a loud protest from the Opposition events on Wednesday. But the scenario within the Senate was cordial and cooperative. The session was chaired by Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.

Earlier, the Senate’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice, chaired by Chairman Javed Abbasi, unanimously authorised the Bills with some minor amendments.

The authorities has ready eight Bills for laws on anti-money laundering and terror financing with a view of shifting Pakistan from the FATF’s gray listing to the white listing.

In its third and remaining plenary held just about as a result of COVID-19 pandemic in June, the FATF determined to maintain Pakistan within the “grey list” as Islamabad did not test the stream of cash to terror teams like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). The plenary was held beneath the Chinese Presidency of Xiangmin Liu.

With Pakistan’s continuation within the ‘grey list’, will probably be troublesome for the nation to get monetary assist from the IMF, World Bank, ADB, and the European Union, thus additional enhancing issues for the nation which is in a precarious monetary scenario.

If Pakistan fails to adjust to the FATF directive by October, there may be each chance that the worldwide physique could put the nation within the ‘Black List’ together with North Korea and Iran.

The FATF is an inter-governmental physique established in 1989 to fight cash laundering, terrorist financing, and different associated threats to the integrity of the worldwide monetary system.

It has presently 39 members together with two regional organisations—the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council. PTI


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