Government tables bill in NA to curb terror financing
13 November, 2012
ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday introduced in the Lower House the Anti-Terrorism Bill 2012 to amend the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 aimed at curbing offences of terror financing and to provide for more effective enforcement measures against such crimes. The House also reverberated with concerns over the latest wave of terrorism and target killings in Karachi.
The first day of the session, chaired by Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi, took up this important legislation of Anti-Terrorism Bill 2012, significant in the backdrop of rising terrorism in the country.
The amendment, moved by PPP Chief Whip Syed Khursheed Shah, addresses the shortcomings relating to terror financing provisions in the Anti-Terrorist Act 1997 highlighted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – an international body comprising a number of countries and international organisations that sets and monitors international standards on anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism.
The bill would pave way for law enforcement agencies to take effective measures against those who finance terrorism and benefit from the proceeds of such acts. "These amendments shall improve the regime for freezing, seizure and forfeiture of property used for terrorism, by terrorists and terrorist organisations," the document pointed out. The House also took up the Karachi law and order situation, which largely dominated the proceedings with members expressing concerns over it and called for checking Talibanisation, especially in Karachi.
The House was visibly divided on the issue of Talibanisation as JUI-F MNA Maulana Ataur Rahman clearly avoided pointing a finger at the Taliban in Karachi, contrary to MQM's Wasim Akhtar and PML-N's Haji Fazal, who directly blamed the Taliban for creating law and order situation in Karachi.
Wasim Akhtar severely criticised inaction on the part of law enforcement agencies in dealing with the situation and called upon the military leadership to take action rather than giving statements. He deplored and added a well-planned conspiracy is in full swing to destabilise the mega city.
Haji Fazal also blamed Talibanisaiton for the fast deteriorating situation in Karachi and urged to curb the menace if Pakistan had to move forward. He said the Sindh government had completely failed to tackle the security situation in Karachi.
Ataur Rahman condemning the killing of seminary students in Karachi regretted that their killing had not been highlighted. He held interior ministers of federal and provincial governments responsible for the incident. He even accused secret agencies for pitching various groups against each other on sectarian and linguistic bases. The House also passed Pakistan Academy of Letters Bill 2010.