ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said his government was ready to cooperate with the Opposition parties in the national interest.

Speaking at the joint session of the Parliament after three crucial Financial Action Task Force related bills were passed amid Opposition’s outcry, the premier said he will never compromise on corruption but was not against cooperation on the national issues. 

“We are ready to cooperate with the opposition for the sake of the country and democracy. But there will be no compromise on corruption,” he said.

The PM said the FATF-related legislation passed by the House was very important for the country’s future and to steer it out of the grey list.

PM Khan thanked his party members and allies for helping pass the FATF-related bills. “Their conduct has proved that they stand by Pakistan. Failing to pass these laws could have pushed Pakistan to blacklist which could have serious economic consequences for the country,” he warned.

Regarding FATF, Imran Khan said that Pakistan was not in the grey list due the PTI-led government. He said rupee could be under more pressure if Pakistan was blacklisted.

Imran Khan said that the political leaders were not worried for the betterment of Pakistan, adding the blackmailing attempts were made during the legislation. “The 34 amendments to the NAB (National Accountability Bureau) law presented by the opposition are meant to bury the anti-graft watchdog,” he added.

The Prime Minister regretted the posture of opposition parties, saying they created hurdles in the way of this legislation.

He said the opposition tried to blackmail the government to protect their vested interests and the looted money of their top leaders. “For this purpose, they proposed thirty-four Amendments in NAB law. How a country could progress when billions of dollars are laundered abroad,” he questioned.

PM Khan said money-laundering only puts pressure on foreign exchange reserves. He said if the opposition leaders are involved in money-laundering then why were they opposing the anti-money laundering bill.

About the recent incident of rape on the Motorway, the Prime Minister said that a comprehensive legislation will be enacted to award exemplary punishment to the sex offenders. He said that legislation will also provide protection to the women and the children. He said it will also ensure protection of the witnesses to convict the persons involved in such ghastly acts.

The PM said that gang-rape incident had shaken the entire country. The PM said that the prime suspect in motorway gang-rape incident Abid Ali committed the heinous crime again after he was not given strict punishment. “We need strict legislations,” he added

The PM admitted that it was difficult to get sex offenders convicted. “The government is also trying to ensure witness protection through the bill and that they might not have to face people in the court. The bill will soon be tabled in the parliament,” PM Khan said.

Regarding coronavirus, PM Imran said that the opposition was urging him to impose India-like lockdown. “The opposition should have applauded the government for getting out of the COVID-19 situation,” he remarked. PM Khan said even the World Health Organization was advising the world to learn Coronavirus policy from Pakistan.

Earlier, the joint sitting of the Parliament passed three bills to meet the FATF demands. The bills moved by Advisor 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.