The Senate on Thursday passed the ‘The Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2020’ and ‘The United Nations (Security Council) (Amendment) Bill, 2020’, a day after the National Assembly approved the bill with a majority vote.
The bill seeking amendments in the anti-terrorism laws was presented before the Senate by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Senator Murtaza Javed Abbasi. While, ‘The United Nations (Security Council) (Amendment) Bill, 2020’ was presented in the senate by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan.
The bills were presented to the Senate minutes after being passed by the Senate’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice.
The bill was passed by the committee after it met under the chairmanship of Senator Javed Abbasi. During the meeting, the members asked whether the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had set the amendments as a term or was it brought forward due to “loopholes” in the existing laws.
“These are part of the terms of the FATF,” the special secretary of the Foreign Ministry told the senators. He also provided a copy of the FATF demands to the committee members.
The official informed the senators that the FATF and the Asia Pacific group are monitoring the country. He added that the oversight groups believe that there is a need to change the domestic laws of the country.
The bill will now be sent to President Arif Alvi for his approval and will tun into law after it has been signed by him.
On Wednesday The National Assembly had passed both the bills amid sloganeering and strong protest from the opposition members.
This legislation is related to fulfil certain requirements of the FATF to bring Pakistan out of FATF’s grey list. The legislation is aimed at empowering the federal government to direct authorities in Pakistan to implement various measures in the Security Council resolutions including the freezing and seizure of assets, travel ban and arms embargo on the entities and individuals, who are designated on the sanctions list of the United Nations.
The UN Security Council Resolution 1373 requires member states to implement counter-terrorism measures, especially countering the financing of terrorism through their domestic laws. This obligation is implemented in Pakistan through Anti-Pakistan Act, 1997.