Qureshi says getting out of FATF grey list top priority
FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses a press conference at Circuit House in Multan. PID
Federal Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Friday said the legislation is necessary to get out of the Financial Action Task Force’s grey list and eight bills have been prepared in this regard.
"We got the grey list from the previous government, we need legislation to get out of there. We have proposed eight amendments in laws in consultation with the Ministry of Finance,” he said while addressing a press conference in Multan.
The Foreign Minister said the government’s top priority is to get back to the FATF’s white India was trying its best to blacklist Pakistan.
On changes in NAB laws, the foreign minister said both main opposition parties Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) had failed to amend or improve the laws in past 10 years of their stint at the helm of the government.
He said that a bill has been prepared to amend the NAB rules and all these bills have been sent to the opposition for the consultation.
“There will be a meeting with the opposition on Monday to see what progress has been made. Corruption free Pakistan is what we all need,” he added.
Smart lockdown policy
Qureshi said the coronavirus infections in the country were gradually decreasing.
“The government's strategy of smart lockdown during the coronavirus has been successful and the world has also adopted the policy and appreciated our efforts to curb the infection.”
The FM said the success of the smart lockdown policy has been an answer to those experts who were critical of the federal government’s coronavirus management policy citing the approach of total lockdown policy adopted by the Sindh government
Qureshi said the smart lockdown strategy has been proved effective and today many countries of the world are following it.
According to the analysis of experts, by July 30 there would have been 1.2 million coronavirus-affected patients and about 50,000 deaths in Pakistan. All praise to Allah who has kept Pakistan safe and there are neither 1.2 million patients nor 50,000 deaths. But we are still deeply saddened by what has happened and we would like to express our sympathy to the affected families.”
Foreign Minister said the infection rate and deaths in the country were gradually decreasing and the pressure on hospitals and people on ventilators has been eased.
However, he cautioned against any complacency said appealed to the people to remain vigilant and adopt SOPs on the eve of Eid ul Azha to help completely eradicate this menace from the country.
Qureshi said the next challenge will be in the month of Muharram when there will be mourning processions.
“We fully respect it and realise its importance, but religious dignitaries, including clerics and elders, are requested to follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and cooperate to protect the people.”
South Punjab province
Replying to a question, he said that he wished that there should be a separate booklet for South Punjab in the annual development program in the forthcoming Punjab budget and practical steps are being taken to set up a South Punjab Secretariat.
Qureshi said that we demand the establishment of a separate Public Service Commission for South Punjab and it will take time to become a province as they do not have a two-thirds majority.
He said the South Punjab Province will solve the problems of the people. He said few people will not decide the capital of South Punjab and this decision will be made on merit. He said, in his opinion, the provincial capital should be Multan.
He said there was progress on the formation of the South Punjab secretariat with the appointments of the additional chief secretary and the additional inspector general of police.
He said neither Bahawalpur nor Multan has the infrastructure to cater to the needs of all the offices for the South Punjab secretariat. He said he has also requested the formation of separate public service commission for South Punjab.
The Foreign Minister said that we are grateful of Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of Punjab for the progress made in the formation of the new province.
He said the creation of the new province is logical as one cannot control a 120m people through a single unit. He said in India, Haryana and Punjab Chief Minister have offices in the same city and they have converted a smaller portion of Punjab into two provinces to improve the governance.