ISLAMABAD - The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is struggling to develop a consensus with major opposition parties and will make a last-ditch effort to get passed the FATF-related bills from both houses of the Parliament scheduled to meet next week.

The ruling party wants that there should be a consensus on the pending legislation needed to be approved by the Parlia­ment to meet requirement of global anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing watchdog — the Financial Ac­tion Task Force (FATF), said a senior party leader. 

Pakistan has to submit its compliance report to FATF on September 30. The government wants to get passed the remain­ing bills from the Parliament to meet the deadline as part of its efforts to get Pakistan’s name off the grey list of watchdog.

Earlier in August, the ruling party had to face an embarrass­ment from the Senate when the opposition-dominated house defeated the two FATF-related bills-- the Anti-Money Launder­ing (Second Amendment) Bill and the Islamabad Capital Ter­ritory (ICT) Waqf Properties Bill. Both these bills now will be taken up by the joint sitting of the Parliament.

The government had sum­moned both the houses of the Parliament for this week to take up the remaining legislation on the FATF but it had to postpone both the sessions till next week to get more time to negotiate with the opposition for this purpose.

According to PTI sources, the representatives of the govern­ment and opposition would meet on Monday before the National Assembly session in a move to end a stalemate on the remaining FATF legislation including one regarding fur­ther amendments in the money laundering law.

Will make last-ditch effort in next joint sitting of Parliament

Law Minister Farogh Naseem, and Adviser to the Prime Min­ister on Accountability and In­terior Barrister Shahzad Akbar would represent the govern­ment side while former prime minister and PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and PPP senators Farooq H. Naek and Sherry Rehman would be from the opposition side.

The major opposition ear­lier had voted in favour of all FATF-related bills except the last two that were rejected by the Senate after their approval by the National Assembly.

Background interviews with some PTI leaders indicate that opposition wanted to amend the National Accountability Ordi­nance to make it a toothless law in return for support of the re­maining legislation on FATF. They say that the opposition parties want relief for themselves in the ongoing cases of money launder­ing against some of their leaders.

However, opposition lawmak­ers insist that the impression being given was wrong as the issue was related to civil liber­ties, intrusion into the privacy of someone and misuse of pow­ers being proposed through two amendments in the laws.

These proposed amendments are to the Anti-Money Launder­ing Act (AMLA), and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

The amendment to Section 156-C of the CrPC would em­power the investigation officer to use techniques to carrying out undercover operations, in­tercepting communications, and assessing computer system for investigation of offences of money laundering, and financ­ing of terrorism. 

The opposition takes this amendment as intrusion of an investigation officer into the privacy of a citizen. The oppo­sition wants that these powers must be explained in the law so that these could not be used against anyone except a culprit. 

The amendment in AMLA em­powers the National Account­ability Bureau (NAB) to proceed against the suspects involved in money laundering 

The opposition is of the view that since NAB already has such powers, so it should be excluded from the list of the executing agencies while amending the AMLA.