Pakistan’s Senate on Wednesday defeated yet another invoice that sought to empower agencies investigating terrorist operations, in compliance with the requirements for terrorism financing watchdog FATF.
With this, the Upper House of parliament has voted against four out of seven legislations moved by the Imran Khan government to conform with the Financial Action Task Force. This can be a setback to the government’s efforts to receive Pakistan out of FATF’s ‘grey list’ and to prevent it from going further down to a ‘black list’.
The defeated legislation would have provided powers to investigators to conduct undercover operations, intercept communications and access computer systems. It sought the insertion of Section 19-C in the Anti-Terror Act (ATA) in relation to application of investigation techniques.
The amendment to the Anti-Terror Invoice, 2020, used to be rejected a day after the National Meeting, the lower house, passed it. It received 34 votes against it , while 31 voted in favour in Senate, in a major embarrassment to Khan’s government.
Final month, the 104-member Senate rejected the Anti-Money Laundering (Second Amendment) Invoice and the Islamabad Capital Territory Waqf Properties Invoice, both also related to FATF compliance, objecting to one of the provisions and linking its cooperation to retraction of remarks made by Leader of the House Dr Shahzad Waseem approximately sure leaders.
Pakistan used to be placed under the FATF grey list in June 2018 after the global watchdog found deficiencies in Islamabad’s money laundering and terrorism financing laws.
Final month, Khan’s government enacted laws and designated over 100 people as terrorists, in its desperate efforts to evade a imaginable blacklisting at the next FATF review assembly.
The assembly, which used to be first of all scheduled for June and got postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, is now expected to be held in October.