MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan can face serious consequences in case of delay in legislation in connection with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Talking to the media here on Saturday, the foreign minister said India was trying to get Pakistan blacklisted, but the government by introducing timely legislation and taking administrative steps would bring back the country from the FATF grey list to the white list.
The minister said the opposition would be consulted over the legislation on Monday, expressing the hope that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and opposition parties would be on one page in the country’s interest. “Nine legislation bills have been shared with the opposition, out of which eight are related to FATF and one is about the National Accountability Bureau. The government took solid legal and administrative steps to come out from the grey list of FATF. Law ministry, finance ministry and other ministries have been consulted over FATF-related eight legislations and draft of these bills have been prepared and handed over to the opposition,” Mr Qureshi said.
The minister said he was heading a 24-member committee, constituted by the prime minister, in this regard. He said opposition members of both houses were also part of the committee. He explained that consultation with the opposition over the legislation would take place on Monday, as they would discuss the draft of these legislation bills with their party leadership on Saturday and Sunday.
Opposition to be consulted on the issue tomorrow
“I am hopeful that for the sake of the country’s interest we will be on the same page,” the minister added.
He said: “Asia Pacific Group has to judge our steps and we have to do it within a scheduled time.”
Changes to NAB laws recommended
About the legislation on NAB, Mr Qureshi said: “We are giving our recommendations to the opposition parties in this regard and we are working on it with the clarity of mind and sincerity.”
He said as the opposition had expressed its concern regarding NAB laws and the government was ready to address their legitimate grievances as the government did not intend to use the NAB laws for witch-hunting. He said the government was ready to sit and talk with the opposition with open heart.
“The PML-N and PPP got chance to rule five years respectively but they did not bring any change in NAB, however, now both parties want amendments in NAB laws for which we are ready to talk with open heart as we want a corruption-free Pakistan,” he said.
Published in Dawn, July 26th, 2020