Pakistan’s Senate rejects two FATF-linked bills

Photo: Twitter/@SenatePakistan  

Pakistan’s Opposition-dominated Senate has rejected two bills related to the tough conditions set by the FATF, jeopardising the government’s efforts to escape from being blacklisted by the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.

The move drew a strong reaction from Prime Minister Imran Khan who accused the Opposition leaders of trying to save their illegal money.

The Anti-Money Laundering (Second Amendment) Bill and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Waqf Properties Bill, passed by the National Assembly a day before, were rejected through a voice vote by the Senate on Tuesday.

The legislations were part of efforts by Pakistan to move from the FATF’s grey list to the white list.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) put Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018 and asked Islamabad to implement a plan of action by the end of 2019 but the deadline was extended later on due to COVID-19.

The 104-member Senate, where the Opposition enjoys a majority, rejected two bills after Leader of the House Shahzad Waseem refused to tender an apology for remarks that he made against the Opposition leadership last week, Dawn newspaper said.

Waseem without naming the Opposition leaders accused them of being involved in money laundering.

The bills will now be taken up for voting at a joint session of Parliament.

Today in Senate, the Opposition defeated two critical FATF-related bills: Anti Money Laundering and ICT Waqf bills. “From day one I have maintained that the self-serving interests of the Opposition leaders and the country’s interests are divergent,” Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted.

The Opposition leaders have become desperate to save their corrupt money by trying to prevent parliament from functioning; by seeking to undermine the government’s effective COVID-19 strategy — a recognised global success story — and now by trying to sabotage Pakistan’s efforts to exit FATF grey list, he said.

Mr. Khan further said that Opposition parties were trying to hide behind the facade of democracy to protect their loot and plunder and using blackmail as a tactic to gain concessions on their cases of corruption.

The tension between the government and the Opposition has been continuing for days over allegations that top Opposition leaders were seeking concession on corruption cases.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 11:15:42 PM |

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