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Senate warned against Pakistan being put on watchlist country

15 February, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: The Upper House of Parliament on Wednesday warned against Pakistan being put on the watchlist as a country deemed non-compliant with terror financing regulations of the UN and called for sincerity of purpose in matching the promises with the ground reality.

Senator Farhatullah Babar gave these warning in Senate while speaking over a matter of public importance. He said that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will meet in Paris early next week that would consider Pakistan’s compliance status with international regulations to choke financing infrastructure of terror organizations. In addition, it would also consider a motion to place Pakistan on the terror financing watchlist already moved by the US and some other European countries, he maintained.

Expressing skepticism, the PPP senator said that four days ago the president of Pakistan had promulgated an ordinance amending the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 so as to bring individuals and organisations listed by the UN Security Council in its ambit. It was followed by cabinet approval to the new Anti-Terrorism (Freezing and Seizure) Rules 2018, he said. Though these were positive moves, he said, however the fact that the ordinance had not been brought before the parliament as required under the constitution and the law has raised some serious doubts about the intent of the move.

Babar said that in the past also, the governments had been making promises but never followed up on them prompting allegations of huge gap between pledges made and the ground reality. “We must be sincere in honouring the pledges we made. We must realize that situation has changed now and it is no longer possible to sidestep delivering on promises,” he said.

Chairman Raza Rabbani also deplored that the ordinance issued by the president had not been placed before the parliament even as it was in session. He also directed that the minister concerned should come and take Senate into confidence over FATF’s upcoming meeting.

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