ISLAMABAD : Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi has invited the opposition to support the government on FATF related legislation in the national interest, delinking it with their demands for amendments in the NAB laws. He was addressing a news conference along with Advisor on Interior and Accountability Shahzad Akbar and Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice, Maleeka Bukhari in Islamabad today (Wednesday). Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan has to make necessary time-barred legislation for its exclusion from the FATF grey list, and the opposition is required to support to the government in this matter. He, however, categorically stated that the government will not be blackmailed by the opposition on the issue, and it will not compromise on its core policy of across the board accountability. Speaking on the occasion, Shahzad Akbar said the government is ready to sit with the opposition on any issue, but it will have to delink its person specific demands on FATF related legislation. He said it will be difficult for the PTI government and Prime Minister Imran Khan to compromise their core agenda of checking corruption. The Advisor said the opposition has suggested that corruption cases of less than one billion rupees, wilful default or writing off loan, and offence of money laundering should stay out of NAB’s purview. He said opposition also wants that accountability process should be started from 1999 and cases older than five years should not be taken up under NAB law. Besides, they want deletion of six offences from the ambit of NAB. The Advisor said the opposition also desires to make redundant the international mutual legal assistance law and dealing it under law of evidence of Pakistan. He said if the government approves these amendments; their main beneficiaries will include former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shahbaz Sharif, former President Asif Ali Zardari, Ahsan Iqbal and Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah. On the occasion, Maleeka Bukhari urged the opposition to prefer national interest to their personal benefits. Responding to a question, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the government has complied with the ICJ’s decision in the case of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav. He said the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s reaction to the issue is naive.
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