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Opposition prioritising personal interest over national on FATF bills, alleges Shibli Faraz

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Shibli Faraz says opposition was trying to create “chaos and disappointment” to avoid accountability. Photo: File

Federal Minister for Information Shibli Faraz on Wednesday slammed the opposition for not passing two bills related to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) alleging that the move showed that they prioritised “personal interest” over “national interest”.

“Opposition to FATF bill is to prioritise self-interest over national interest,” tweeted Faraz. He added that the opposition was trying to create “chaos and disappointment” to avoid accountability.

“They [opposition] want to protect criminal rights not human rights. Failure is their fate,” said the minister.

The minister’s tweet was in line with what Prime Minister Imran Khan had said in his tirade against the opposition on Tuesday after the latter shot down two ‘critical’ bills in Senate related to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

PM Imran had said that the interests of the opposition parties and the country were on opposite paths.

“Today in Senate the opposition defeated two critical FATF-related bills: Anti Money Laundering and ICT Waqf bills,” PM Imran said in the first post of a thread of Twitter messages.

“From day one I have maintained that the self-serving interests of the opposition leaders and the country’s interests are divergent,” he said.

The premier said that as the accountability noose continued to tighten, the opposition leaders attempted to “save their corrupt money by trying to prevent parliament from functioning”.

The premier said that in a bid to make the Parliament non-functional, the opposition sought to ”undermine government’s effective coronavirus strategy and now [it is] trying to sabotage [Pakistan’s] efforts to exit the FATF grey list”.

Senate rejects two government bills approved by NA

The Senate took up its entire agenda on Tuesday but rejected two government bills which were passed by the National Assembly in its last sitting on August 24.

The bills rejected by the Upper House were the Islamabad Capital Territory Waqf Properties Bill, 2020 and the Anti-Money Laundering (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan had moved a motion under Rule 263 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012 that the requirement of Rule 120 of the said Rules regarding notice period is dispensed with in order to take into consideration these two government bills.

However, the opposition lawmakers opposed the motion and demanded the Leader of the House apologise over the words he earlier used for their leadership.

They refused to cooperate on the motion for consideration of these bills, following which the Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani heard arguments from both sides.

Both bills were later put before the House for passage but were rejected by the House after voice voting.

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