ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari yesterday blamed the federal government for carrying out legislation unconstitutionally in the parliament.

Speaking at a news conference in opposition leader’s chamber in the National Assembly with the Opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif and other Parliamentary leaders of opposition parties in the National Assembly and Senate of Pakistan, Bilawal said that all representatives of people came to the joint session of the Parliament to express their views on important matter relating to Pakistan. 

“It is unfortunate that government adopted an unconstitutional way to pass their bills,” he maintained. The PPP chief said that after court’s decision, an adviser could not present bills in the Parliament. “This is illegal and unconstitutional. “According to rules, the opposition leader can address the Parliament at any time like the leader of the House,” he added.

Earlier in the day, the joint sitting of the Parliament passed three bills to meet the requirements of FATF to bring the country out of its grey list. The bills moved by Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan, included: “The Islamabad Capital Territory Waqf Properties Bill” and “The Anti-Money Laundering (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020”, while “The Anti-Terrorism (Third Amendment) Bill, 2020 was tabled by Faheem Khan.  According to the statement of subjects and reasons, “The Islamabad Capital Territory Waqf Properties Bill, 2020” is aimed at proper management, supervision, and administration of Waqf properties in the territorial limits of Islamabad Capital Territory. The Anti-Money Laundering (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020” is aimed at streamlining the existing anti money laundering law in line with international standards prescribed by FATF.

The Anti-Terrorism (Third Amendment) Bill, 2020 is essential to address the issue of terror financing, one of the major obstacles which is not only playing a degrading role against the development of the country but also imbuing such elements with the financial means which are an ultimate threat to the internal and external peace of the country.

Bilawal said that earlier the PPP had objected the legislation on the Financial Action Task Force just to help the government. “Now the bill the government has bulldozed today will facilitate arrest of any person without an arrest warrant. If this happens in Pakistan then there will be negative effect on the economy of the country,” he remarked. 

The PPP chief said that the anti-democratic manner with which this government has bulldozed legislations in the parliament was not seen even in the assemblies under dictators like Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf.