Debate in National Assembly

ISLAMABAD            -         The PTI government in Tuesday’s National Assembly proceedings sought cooperation from the opposition on FATF related legislation, while rejecting the joint draft proposing amendments in the National Accountability Bureau laws.

The government asked the opposition to prefer national interest over other matters and not club both the legislation - FATF related law and NAB laws.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi, sharing the government’s stance on the important legislation for FATF, asked the opposition to cooperate with the government to approve FATF related bills.

“This is a time barred legislation. We need not to delay it and opposition should not link it with NAB laws. There is a need to create difference between corruption and FATF,” he said, mentioning that India wants to push Pakistan from gray list to black list so that sanction could be imposed on the country.

“We call upon the opposition parties to support the government in getting the country out of grey list of FATF,” he said adding that the legislation on NAB laws could be carried out later as amendments could also not be made in the last decade.

Minister said the government has identified four bills related to FATF which need to be passed without any delay. The NAB laws would become meaningless if the government compromises on 35 amendments as proposed by the opposition.

“Anti-corruption is our [PTI’s government] core agenda, there are some hitches in accepting the amendments proposed by the opposition in its draft,” he said, mentioning Prime Minister Imran Khan would never compromise of corruption in his government. “This institution will be meaningless if it stopped the accountability process,” he said.

About dialogue with opposition on FATF related legislation, minister said that said the opposition has shared a draft with the government in which 35 amendments were proposed for NAB laws.

Regarding the proposed amendments, he said the opposition wants to curtail the term of Chairman NAB. “Chairman NAB was appointed in previous government era with the consent of the then leader of house and leader of opposition,” he said, mentioning that there was no role of PTI in the appointment of Chairman NAB. Qureshi said that the government side was also not interested in changing the implementation of NAB laws. He said that the opposition had hinted at removing money laundering matters in the NAB laws in its draft.

Minister further clarified the government has no intention of giving an extension to Chairman NAB. “This matter was not discussed and government has no intention at all.”