Senate passes bills to amend Anti-Terrorism Act, UNSC-related laws

An inside view of the Senate.  

Islamabad: The Senate on Thursday passed the Anti-Terrorism Laws (Amendment) Bill 2020, which is required to meet certain requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to remove the country from the blacklist.

In a meeting chaired by Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, the Upper House of Parliament passed the UN Security Council (Amendment) Bill 2020. The prime minister has moved the bills against parliamentary affairs adviser Babur Avon.

Addressing the House, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi thanked the members of the Senate who passed the law.

Qureshi said Pakistan had drafted the law in line with its obligations to implement the decision of the International Court of Justice in the case of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Speaking on the International Court of Justice (Review and Re-examination) Ordinance in 2020, the Foreign Minister said that it was also a step towards Pakistan fulfilling its international obligations.

“By making new laws, no concessions have been made to Indian Guy Kulbhushan Jadhav,” he said.

The Foreign Minister expressed confidence that Pakistan would be removed from the gray list of the FATF after this law.

Earlier, the Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice passed the Anti-Terrorism Act (Amendment) Bill 2020.

At a meeting chaired by Senator Javed Abbasi, government representatives told the committee that the FATF did not demand all amendments to the bill.

The committee asked government officials to make a copy of the Global Watchdog Demands for this. Informing committee members on the UN Security Bill, the Special Secretary said the Asia-Pacific and FATF were monitoring the situation and understood that some changes were needed in the country’s laws.

NIA approves Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2020
The National Assembly on Wednesday passed the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2020 to remove Pakistan from the FATF’s gray list.

Description of Objects and Reasons of Anti-Terrorism Bill:

Although there are no provisions for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1267 and 1373, the Prevention of Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 is extensive. UNSCRs 1267 and 1373 were adopted for Article 41 of Chapter VII of the United Nations. The Charter makes it mandatory for all members of the United Nations. Through UNSCR 1,267, UN member states enforce sanctions and take action to freeze property (targeted economic classes), initiating arms and travel restrictions on designated entities and individuals on the approval list. UNSCR 1373 requires member states to implement counter-terrorism measures, especially to combat terrorist financing through their domestic laws.

The above responsibility is enforced in Pakistan through the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 1997. Penalties are not unfounded in the law already mentioned for violating the property foreclosure provision under Section 11-O and the amount of the fine is inadequate.

In the new bill, ‘person’ is defined in Section 2: ‘Person’ means a natural entity, including a government agency, an autonomous or semi-autonomous entity, a regulatory authority, a body corporate partnership association, a trust, an agency or any other body. Or a legal person. To fulfill the purpose of this Act.

The Anti-Terrorism Amendment Bill seeks to implement the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions (1267 and 1373) adopted by member countries to examine the financing of terrorism by making and enforcing such provisions in domestic law.

According to the Federal Legislative List provided in the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the federal government and international arbitration may enforce laws and regulations to enforce such decisions in accordance with international treaties, conventions and treaties.

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