ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that legislation related to fulfilling requirements laid out by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was necessary for the national interest and that no National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) — a term used to describe concessions from legal prosecution — would be given in return for it.
The prime minister’s remarks came during a meeting of the PTI parliamentary party on Thursday. The premier alleged that the opposition has tried to create hurdles with every legislation but the government will not bow down to their blackmailing and will continue to give them a tough time.
“The opposition will not be given an NRO at any cost,” PM Imran said, directing lawmakers to give a tough time to the opposition.
The prime minister added that the government would have passed all the bills in a joint sitting of the two houses of parliament had the opposition not extended its cooperation in this regard.
Opposition wants to ‘wheel and deal’ for personal interests: Faraz
Federal Minister for Information Shibli Faraz on Wednesday had said that the opposition parties wanted to “wheel and deal” for their personal interests and the culprits, at any cost, would not be given any sort of concession.
“The opposition wants to bargain for personal interests. It is not possible that they have us close the jails and facilitate them with NROs. After Eid, the opposition’s bubble will burst,” the minister said.
Faraz said that the focus of the PTI-led government was on the real problems of the people. He said the “rule of merit” is the hallmark of the incumbent government.
Opposition using FATF legislation as bargaining chip to ‘seek NRO’: Javed
Earlier, PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan had said the opposition was only using the legislation pertaining to FATF as a bargaining chip to seek a relief from legal prosecution.
“There’s a deadline to legislate the FATF laws but the opposition has demanded an NRO in return,” Javed wrote on Twitter. “This is the same NRO that Prime Minister Imran Khan talks about and yet they ask, which NRO?
“The opposition’s proposed amendments to the NAB laws are akin to having jails for the common person and freedom for them,” the PTI senator stressed, referring to the draft legislation on Pakistan’s anti-graft watchdog, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The Opposition “want[s] freedom to engage in corruption and money-laundering”, he added.
‘Performed a melody’
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi while addressing a press conference alongside Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Affairs Shahzad Akbar had said when the opposition parties were asked to join negotiations on these laws, they agreed, saying they would talk about the FATF legislation only when there were amendments in the NAB’s rules, or the NAB Ordinance 1999.
“We acted on the demands of the opposition [who] had remained in the government for 10 years,” he noted. “If they were unable to legislate in 10 years, how can we do the same in 10 hours?”
The foreign minister had added that he was not painting any pictures but that it was the opposition parties that were portraying the matter as something else.