Pak’s NA to take up anti-terror financing bills

Pakistan’s National Assembly will on Monday take up two crucial bills seeking amendments to the anti-terrorism act in order to fulfil international commitments and requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

According to the 22-point agenda issued by the National Assembly Secretariat for the sitting, Minister for Interior retd Brig Ijaz Shah will move the two bills, reports Dawn news.

Both the bills with the same title the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2020 were approved by the National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior in February.

Through one of the bills, the government has defined the term “economic terrorism” for the first time.

The bill defines “economic terrorism” as ‘the transfer of money or funds from Pakistan to destinations abroad through any informal channel, where the total amount transferred by any one agent, through a single or multiple transactions over a period of one month, is equal to or exceeds 50 million rupees PKR”.

The bills had been introduced by the government to meet certain requirements of the FATF and in line with the UN Security Council Resolutions No. 1267 and 1373.

Last month, the FATF extended the deadline for Pakistan till the next plenary meeting in October, urging Islamabad to ensure compliance of 27-point action plan.

The extension in deadline of review of Pakistan’s progress to counter money-laundering and terror financing because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, made it almost impossible for assessed jurisdiction and assessors alike to conduct on-site visits and in-person meetings.

The FATF had placed Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018, placing at least 27 conditions for compliance review on September 2019.

Since then, Pakistan has been given extensions at least thrice of three months each as Islamabad failed to comply with the conditions, required to ensure its name is removed from the grey list.