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PM puts opposition in same league as India


ISLAMABAD:

Prime Minister Imran Khan accused the opposition on Wednesday of behaving like India and blackmailing the government by blocking the legislation relating to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations.

The prime minister held a flurry of meetings with his top aides, party spokespersons as well as key ministers to discuss several issues, including the upcoming parliamentary session for the passage of the FATF-related bills.

In the meetings, the prime minister said that the opposition and India were on the “same page” on FATF legislation. He said that opposition blocked the FATF-related legislation to blackmail the government but “the government will not compromise on its promise of accountability”.

During a meeting of the government and the party spokespersons, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that after agreeing with the government in a parliamentary committee meeting on FATF bills, the opposition turned its back in the Senate.

Qureshi said that the opposition wanted relief in exchange for supporting the FATF-related legislation. “When it was found that Prime Minister Imran Khan will not give them the NRO [the Musharraf-era National Reconciliation Ordinance], they opposed the legislation in the Senate,” he added.

Prime Minister Imran said that India was making every effort that Pakistan went into the FATF blacklist. “About the FATF, the opposition and India are on the same page,” sources quoted the prime minister as saying. Imran directed the spokespersons to highlight the opposition’s role in the public.

“In every democracy, the opposition has an important role to play for the country,” the prime minister was quoted as saying in the meeting. “The current opposition is only harming the country to save its corruption. The opposition wants amendments to the anti-money laundering law,” he added.

However, the prime minister, who had convened a meeting of the senators from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and allied parties on Thursday (today) to consider the strategy for passing the FATF legislation, stressed that these bills would be passed in any case.

In a separate meeting with his adviser on parliamentary affairs Babar Awan, Imran directed that the National Assembly and the Senate be convened from Monday. “Opposition to the FATF law is opposition to national goals,” he said, according to a statement issued by Awan.

Awan called on the prime minister to discuss important constitutional, legal and national issues. The prime minister stressed that legislation in the interest of national security and the public should not be delayed.

Meanwhile, in another meeting of the senior party leaders to discuss the upcoming joint sitting of parliament and the strategy for passing the FATF-related bills, the prime minister directed for ensuring the attendance of the PTI and allied parties’ lawmakers.

The meeting was attended by Qureshi, Awan, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, federal ministers Pervez Khattak, Shafqat Mehmood, Asad Umar, Farough Naseem, Accountability Adviser Shehzad Akbar and others.

It was decided in the meeting that the members of the opposition parties would be requested to support the government on the bills in the national interest.

Meanwhile, the meeting of spokespersons was also briefed on government initiatives related to repatriation of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Imran said that Nawaz was allowed to go abroad on humanitarian grounds. He directed Shehzad Akbar to take further steps to repatriate Nawaz.

The spokespersons were also briefed about the Karachi transformation plan proposed by the government. The meeting was informed that the federal government would play its full role in solving the problems of sewerage, waste, water and transport in Karachi.



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