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Senate unanimously approves UNSC, ATA amendment bills

The Senate on Thursday unanimously approved the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Amendment Bill, 2020 and the Anti-Terrorism Act Amendment Bill, 2020, in an effort to take the country’s name off the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list.

The session of the Upper House was chaired by Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and both bills were presented by Advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Parliamentary Affairs, Senator Babar Awan.

Earlier, the Senate’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice, chaired by Chairman Javed Abbasi, unanimously approved the said bills with the proposed amendments.

During the committee’s meeting, the Foreign Office’s special secretary said the directives of the FATF were being implemented. The FO official further said some shortcomings were identified in the UNSC bill and amendments to it were proposed by the FATF.

The FO added that an implementation report for the same is to be submitted by August 6. Senator Farooq Naek said that under the amendment, the federal government can delegate its powers to anyone.

“I suggest that the name of a Pakistani national or institution should be included in the assignment of powers so that they are not delegated to any non-Pakistani,” the Senator Naek suggested.

Members of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and government officials supported Senator Naek’s amendments. To this, the FO official said that the cabinet would decide on the matter of delegation of powers. The committee had also unanimously approved UNSC Amendment Bill, including an amendment proposed by Senator Naek.

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