Jan 7, 2020, 9:50 AM
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Pakistani parliament passes bill to meet FATF requirement

Islamabad, Jan 7, IRNA – The National Assembly of Pakistan has passed a bill for exchange of information and criminals with countries to meet a requirement of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

According to a media report the opposition parties initially resisted the bill but later participated in the process.

Pakistan which was placed by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on its grey list last June for its poor performance is taking measures to escape being blacklisted by the global watchdog.

The FATF in recent meeting held in Paris gave Pakistan the deadline of February 2020 to fully implement the FATF’s 27-point action plan.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan who moved the bill in National Assembly said no Pakistani would like to see the country being blacklisted by the FATF.

He explained that the main purpose of the bill was to nominate the interior ministry as the focal point as previously a number of ministries and institutions like the foreign ministry and the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta) were dealing with such matters on their own.

Now, he said, no department or institution could make a direct contact with any country without the approval of the interior ministry.

Asad Umar said the title of the bill itself suggested that the exchange would take place under mutual understanding. He added that even the UK and the UAE had changed their laws and they were going towards transparency.

“This Act shall regulate the procedure for rendering and soliciting mutual legal assistance in criminal matters by Islamic Republic of Pakistan subject to the provisions of this Act, the mutual legal assistance may be provided by Islamic Republic of Pakistan to a country on the basis of an agreement or reciprocal arrangement,” says the draft of the bill.

Under the law, the government would be able to make mutual legal assistance request to a country to “inquire about the location and identification of witnesses, suspects, perpetrators and offenders.

Recently President of Pakistan had promulgated an Ordinance making tax laws strict. Under the ordinance, the government will form Directorate General of Law and Prosecution.

Earlier, Pakistan in an attempt to fulfill the FATF requirements had followed the instructions of UN sanctions committee and recently arrested the heads of some banned outfits.

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