ISLAMABAD: National Assembly on Monday has passed an important bill to exchange information and offenders with countries to satisfy a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements.
Initially, the opposition parties tried to block the passage of the bill by opposing Speaker Asad Qaiser’s ruling on a voice vote that allowed Ali Muhammad Khan, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, to move the bill but after an 87-83 vote setback, then four minor amendments were introduced, two of which were even adopted by the National Assembly on Monday.
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As soon as the Minister took the floor to table the 2019 Mutual Legal Assistance (Criminal Matter) Act, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) parliamentary leader Syed Naveed Qamar called the act against the fundamental rights of Pakistani citizens.
Naveed Qamar claimed that after the bill is passed, the government could seek information from foreign countries and prosecute its own nationals, even without signing a treaty, on the request of the other countries.
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While Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry lashed out at the opposition for opposing the bill, saying that it was the two previous governments that were responsible for putting Pakistan in the FATF pit, he said all countries shared information on criminal matters under the FATF.