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PML-N Terminates Membership Of 5 Punjab MPAs For Meeting With CM Buzdar

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has decided to terminate the membership of five Punjab Assembly lawmakers who had gone against the party’s line and called on Chief Minister Usman Buzdar earlier this week.

On Tuesday, a delegation of PML-N provincial lawmakers met Usman Buzdar and expressed their support to him for resolving public issues. The delegation comprised Chaudhry Ashraf Ali, Muhammad Ghiyas Uddin, Nishat Daha, Muhammad Faisal Khan Niazi, and Mian Jaleel Ahmed Sharaqpuri.

In a meeting chaired by PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal, the party decided to expel these members for not complying with the discipline. The PML-N said it will also approach the Election Commission of Pakistan for the termination of the membership of these lawmakers.

In addition, the PML-N has also decided to issue show-cause notices to the party lawmakers who skipped a joint session of parliament that was held last month for the passage of the legislation concerning the Financial Action Task Force. The lawmakers include Rahila Magsi, Kulsoom Parveen, Dilawar Khan, and Shamim Afridi.

Last month, a joint session of the parliament called by President Arif Alvi on short notice was held after the government and opposition reached an impasse over the passage of legislation related to the Financial Action Task Force. The government managed to get the bills passed with 200 votes against the opposition’s 190.

During the session, at least 41 members of the opposition were absent from the session, raising speculations about their loyalties. Subsequently, the opposition parties, especially the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan People’s Party, decided to take action against those members who did not attend the session. Some of the members regretted that they had to stay away from the event because of illness or family issues.

FATF bills passed amid protest:

On Wednesday, the PTI government managed to pass all three FATF-related legislation in a joint session of parliament that was earlier blocked by the opposition-dominated Senate.

The first bill Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Waqf Properties Bill was initially passed through a voice vote, reported Dawn. However, upon the protest by the opposition lawmakers, the speaker asked the members to stand up for the vote count —  the bill was passed with 200 members voting in favour and 190 voting against it.

All the amendments proposed by the opposition lawmakers were rejected. Jamaat-e-Islami Senator Mushtaq Ghani, who introduced amendments in several clauses, accused the speaker of ‘passing legislation illegally’.

Amid the ruckus, PTI MNA Maleeka Bokhari introduced amendments in several clauses of the Anti-Money Laundering (Second Amendment) Bill, all of which were passed. At this, the opposition staged a walkout, as per the Dawn report.

The Anti-Money Laundering (Second Amendment) Bill, which was then tabled by Awan, was also passed through voice voting without any opposition. PTI MNA Faheem Khan tabled the Anti-Terrorism Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which was also passed without opposition.

The ATA Bill proposes the investigating officer, with the permission of the court, can conduct ‘covert operations’ to detect terrorism funding, track communications and computer system by applying the latest technologies in 60 days.

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