Govt considered money laundering as mother of all crime,says Shahzad Akbar

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LAHORE, Aug 22 :Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shehzad Akbar has said that government would neither accept any pressure by conspiracies of opposition nor give any NRO plus to any opposition leader.

Addressing a press conference he said that opposition was not considering money laundering a serious crime and did not want to make legislation to eliminate this menace. He said that money laundering law was made in 2010 by the political parties who were now in opposition but they wanted to extract the name of National Accountability Bureau as prosecuting and investigation agency from the proposed amendment regarding money laundering which to be presented in the parliament for approval, adding that the government was not presenting any new money laundering law but it tended to amend the existing money laundering 2010 law.

The PTI government considered money laundering as mother of all crimes but the opposition was not serious in making legislation on it. He added that money laundering could not be tolerated at any cost.

Shehzad Akbar said that international community had seriously taken up money laundering issue as the former chief minister Punjab was involved in this crime, adding, the PTI after coming into power had taken corrective measures against money laundering to improve the image of the country before the world.

He said that opposition should support legislation for national interest instead of protecting their personal interests. Shehzad Akbar said the government would get this money laundering amendment approved from parliament at any cost. He said that money laundering cases related to terrorism were trialed in anti terrorism court while general money laundering cases were trialed in accountability courts, adding that no new court would be set up through this proposed amendment.

The PTI government had introduced a number of institutional reforms, he said and added that this money laundering amendment was being introduced on recommendations of Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The special assistant said that when PTI came into power, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was about to declare Pakistan in black list from grey list but due to solid and comprehensive measures taken by the PTI government against money laundering and terrorism, the country was saved from being included in black list of FATF.

Giving details about Nawaz Sharif case, Shehzad Akbar said that the court had granted him bail of eight weeks on medical grounds on November 29, 2019, however, Nawaz Sharif had once again applied to extend the period of his stay in London on which the government constituted a medical board to examine the medical reports of Nawaz Sharif. The board was not satisfied with the medical reports so it did not extend the stay period of Nawaz Sharif in London, he maintained.

On August 18, 2020, Nawaz Sharif had filed a bail application in Islamabad High Court but the court rejected the bail plea by declaring that Nawaz Sharif was court absconder and convict, he added.

He said the Punjab government had written to British High Commission along with IHC order’s copy that Nawaz Sharif was convicted so he should be sent back to Pakistan.

To a question, he said that NAB would pursue the case of Nawaz Sharif and the government would provide all support in this regard, adding that laws pertaining to transfers of prisoners existed in Britain.

To another query, he said that references on report of Sugar Commission had been forwarded to departments concerned including Federal Investigation Agency, NAB and others.

He said that Nawaz Sharif could not engage in any political activities as he was convicted by the court, adding that Maryam Nawaz was politically active only on social media particularly Twitter and if she really wanted to lead a political campaign than she should practically come in public instead of making tweets by sitting in drawing room.

Responding to a question, he said that the police were investigating the incident happened during Maryam Nawaz’s appearance in NAB here and would submit a challan in the court.

 

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