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NA passes law to curb terrorism financing

21 February, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed bill to curb terrorism financing and penalise those involved in this act by confiscating their property and imposing fine and imprisonment.

The Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2013 moved in the House by Law Minister Farooq Naek to amend Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 was not opposed by the opposition.

Under the bill, the federal government or a provincial government may, from time to time, designate an officer of the government, by notification in the official gazette or direct any other person to freeze, seize or detain any money or other property for a period of 15 days, if there are reasonable grounds to believe that it is a terrorist property, or it is property of person included in fourth schedule.

The bill provides that refusal to effect freeze or seizure under this section without just cause shall be an offence under this act and be liable on conviction of imprisonment of up to five years or fine up to Rs 500,000 or both.

Furthermore, if illegal person commits an offence under sub section 4 it shall be liable to fine worth Rs five million and every director, officer or employee of such entity found guilty under sub section 4 shall be published in terms thereof.

The bill provides that the officer or person effecting freeze or seizure shall within forty eight hours of the freeze or seizure, issue notice thereof to all persons concerned with the money or other property frozen seized and cause publication of notice in one English news paper and one Urdu newspaper having wide circulation in the area.

This bill also states that no prosecution, suit or other proceeding shall lie against the government, or other officer or person for anything done or intended to be done in good faith to effect freeze or seizure under this section.

The law minister said passage of the law reiterates Pakistan's resolve to fight terrorism, help curb terrorism financing in the country.

Meanwhile, the federal cabinet on Wednesday expressed deep sympathies with the bereaved families of Quetta blasts and reiterated the resolve to remain undeterred in fight against terrorism and take the war to its logical end.

The cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, stressed for adopting a national approach to fight against terrorism and find its solution.

"The support and strength of the country's political leadership is required for addressing grave areas," the prime minister said in his opening remarks at the meeting.

The prime minister said Pakistan continues to confront courageously the menace of terrorism and would continue to fight till it was wiped out.

The cabinet expresses its sympathies with the bereaved families of Quetta and reiterated its resolve to continue its fight against terrorism and remain un-deterred till its logical end. The cabinet also resolved to bring to book the culprits behind such brutal acts.

The prime minister requested the people to keep an eye on any suspicious activity and inform the law enforcement agencies for stern action against them. "The governments come and go but the country will remain stable. We all are the servants of Pakistan, its people and will serve to the best of our ability," he said.

"With the blessings of Almighty Allah and because of laudable efforts of the parliamentary committee, focused and targeted operation against the culprits and placement of new provincial police officer, the negotiations with the victim brethren were successful," he said. Raja Ashraf said it was the government's resolve to protect lives and property of all. He said a wrong impression was being created by the enemies of the democracy that the government had not done anything during the last five years.

End.

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