NA passes FATF-related bill on terror financing

Published September 16, 2020
The session of the lower house of parliament lasted for six-and-a-half hours in which other important issues were also discussed. — APP/File
The session of the lower house of parliament lasted for six-and-a-half hours in which other important issues were also discussed. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Tuesday passed a Financial Action Task Force-related bill, the Anti-Terrorism Act (amendment) Bill, 2020, while another bill was laid in the house that suggested punishment of up to two years, or up to Rs500,000 fine or both for “maligning” armed forces of the country and their personnel.

In a related development, President Dr Arif Alvi summoned a joint sitting of parliament on Wednesday (today) apparently to get the FATF-related legislation passed that was blocked by the opposition in the Senate last month, sources said.

However, no official notification was issued in this regard till the filing of this story.

The session of the lower house of parliament lasted for six-and-a-half hours in which other important issues were also discussed, like the recent rape of a woman on the Motorway near Lahore, flooding in Karachi and Sindh and increasing beggary in the federal capital.

According to the ATA (amendment) Bill, 2020, the investigating officer, with the permission of the court, can conduct covert operations to detect terrorism funding, track communications and computer system by applying latest technologies in 60 days.

Another bill introduced in National Assembly provides for up to two-year imprisonment or Rs500,000 fine or both for defaming armed forces

Written requests would be made to the court for extension in investigation and the court may extend the period for another 60 days.

The current law will not contradict any other law and the federal government will strengthen the procedure and formulate rules for the implementation of orders.

The bill said funding for terrorism was a major obstacle in the country’s development and a source of disgrace to it. Terrorism funding was benefiting those elements which were not only a threat to internal and external peace of the country but also its allies, the bill said.

“The main purpose of introducing this bill is to enable law enforcement agencies to eradicate these curses by adopting certain preventive techniques with the empowered assistance of the courts of law.”

The Criminal Law (amendment) Act Bill, 2020 was laid in the National Assembly to amend the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860, and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, that suggested punishment to those who would malign armed forces and their personnel. This may be called the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2020.

In Pakistan Penal Code, 1860, Section 500A is inserted which said: “Whosoever, intentionally ridicules, brings into disrepute or defames the armed forces of Pakistan or a member thereof, he shall be guilty of an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with a fine up to Rs500,000 or both.”

Later, the house discussed the horrible Motorway incident near Lahore in which a woman was raped by some criminals a few days ago.

The house witnessed anger expressed by legislators over the incident who demanded exemplary punishment to the rapists.

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry did not endorse the idea of public hanging of rapists to avoid such heinous crimes in future. Instead, he called for strengthening of the judiciary.

Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali rejected Prime Minister Imran Khan’s view that sex abusers should be subjected to chemical or physical castration and asked what if a woman raped a man. He suggested that Islamic punishment should be given to the culprits and Islamic courts should be established at district level.

In a call-attention notice, the house was apprised about devastation of floods in Sindh and Karachi.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2020

Opinion

Police & prosecution
16 Jan 2021

Police & prosecution

Yasin Malik’s case is a revealing example of Modi’s political vendetta.
Changes in privacy policy
16 Jan 2021

Changes in privacy policy

It is indeed a blunder by WhatsApp to move towards a model that is less private than before.
A national dialogue?
15 Jan 2021

A national dialogue?

Fundamental reforms are needed to change the ‘system of spoils’, not save it.

Editorial

16 Jan 2021

Gas liberalisation

AFTER drawing much criticism from both consumers and the opposition over its mismanagement of the energy sector that...
16 Jan 2021

Osama Satti inquiry

THE findings of the judicial inquiry into the Jan 2 killing of 21-year-old Osama Satti in Islamabad merely confirms...
Updated 16 Jan 2021

British MP on IHK

DESPITE sustained efforts by New Delhi’s rulers to remove India-held Kashmir from the global discourse, people of...
Updated 15 Jan 2021

Trump’s impeachment

The impeachment move may well remain symbolic in nature; even then, the symbolism itself is a potent one.
15 Jan 2021

Economic growth

MOODY’S Investors Service expects Pakistan’s economy to grow by a modest 1.5pc in FY2021, much higher than the...
15 Jan 2021

Madressah students

GETTING students of madressahs involved in politics is a bad idea, primarily because seminarians should be...