By Senator Rehman Malik
September 15, 2020 was another unforgettable day in the parliamentary history of Pakistan when a joint session was summoned to pass FATF’s dictated legislation. The joint session was actually forced in by FATF and we as a nation are turned to be helpless to say ‘no’ to the directions of FATF duly engineered by India and USA. Let us discuss who brought the great idea of terrorism in Pakistan; the nation knows that first it was result of our own blunder by jumping into the war of USA with the USSR via Afghanistan. How the USSR was dragged into this war is part of the record of international spy agencies. The major suffering from this war were experienced by none but Pakistan and Afghanistan. We continue to suffer post 9/11 and facts remain that we have been suffering in the hands of America nonstop but we still do not realise and every time we are ready to suffer furthermore in their hand. The origin of money laundering started when cash dollars were distributed among the Mujahedeen dollars which were transported in US planes as the said war started with the USA funding.
The USA had been forcing us to do more but we did only which our sovereignty allowed us and we rejected to provide the data of our Pakistanis and it was me in the capacity of Interior Minister who declined to sign a MoU requested to me by General (R) Durrani followed by a pressing request by their Home Ministry. Now when I see all the sections of laws now have been made on the directions of FATF, in fact these are exactly the same demands which were made earlier made by the USA administration starting from Senator John Kerry to Secretary Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, we have now been forced through the forum of FATF to agree to their terms. The Americans know that money laundering originated from the USA as worldwide business deals go through New York which is the main transfer hub of money transfers in dollars.
In my article “Attacking Pakistan’s Economy via FATF” dated October 21, 2019, I had expressed “I wish the government had informed the world that money laundering was not done by Pakistan but by those counties who created and supported the Jihadi organisations for their ulterior motives to keep the peace in Pakistan and Afghanistan disturbed. The creation and funding of Jihadi outfits came from the USA and also support from the wealthy Saudis and other business tycoons from the Middle East.” I had also mentioned in the same article “FATF is a joint effort of USA and India to undermine Pakistan’s efforts to eliminate terrorism and stabilise its economy. Pakistan should have demanded testimony from Condoleezza Rice and Hilary Clinton in Congress regarding who had launched these Jehadis. They had already made this frank confession which goes in favour of Pakistan & how they were funded & trained. The record of this confession by Hillary is, in fact, the right defence for Pakistan and it is strange to note that the government failed to put forth these important hard facts.”
Pakistan is the only country that has made so many changes in its law linking it with international interference and its benefit will go more to our enemy countries as the USA and other G- 7 countries will have the right to ask for secret information about Pakistan where our complete privacy will be compromised. The laws are not endorsed and are allowed to be passed by the FATF administration but our parliament did it. I happened to be part of this parliament and feel equally responsible but the collective response has made it happen.
I fully endorse that the parliament has been made a rubber stamp and both Shahbaz Sharif and Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari know who were absent from their parties from the house. Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has rightly termed this Parliament as rubber stamp but it is now up to the political leadership how they take out the blame of rubber stamp from the parliament. If this continues people are bound to lose their confidence in the Parliament. The fact is that the speaker remained confused, the opposition was less aggressive and it was overall a poor show. Reportedly the absence were marked from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and from the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and the National Party, two from the Awami National Party (ANP), from the Baloch National Party-Mengal and Baloch National Party Awami missed the joint session of Parliament. I noticed that some closest aides of both the top leadership of these parties were missing in the house. If all of these opposition members were present then there was no question of the defeat of the opposition. In the given situation the saga of the rubber stamp has also been contributed by the members of these parties.
I think accountability has to start from within the parties and all those members owe an explanation who remained absent except who were genuinely sick. Their absence amounted to ditching their respective parties. I am sure the respective leadership will ask them about their embarrassing absence from the house as it is even worse than floor crossing as it amounts to clever cheating of their respective parties. In fact, it will not be wrong to stay that parliament having the honour of receiving the “rubber stamp” is the production of the parliament itself. It is unfortunate that as long as the money is there to buy and sell a vote this practice will not stop. The political parties have a great chance to weed out those who ditched their parties for the reasons best known to them. At least this is an opportunity for their respective leaders to punish them even if they are from the close circle. We do have members who think that they are the “aqil kul” but many times I have seen them embarrassing their parties for quoting wrong references. This is the time for the leadership at all levels to stand on the basic principle of democracy and loyalties. The first count in the joint house appeared to be doubtful and that was the time to demand the division of votes and I did demand in high pitch but one of the senior leaders of PMLN opposed me there and I kept on insisting. The sense prevailed during half the session to walk out but our real complaint about the division of vote was rejected undemocratically and unconstitutionally by the speaker. This is Pakistan Parliament which will continue with the same distrust and internal clever cheating. Parliament owes an explanation to the nation and action against the temporary missing parliamentarians. Let there be a parliamentary inquiry to know what excuses come out to justify their absence from the Joint House. I have written this with heavy heart what I saw or felt and hence no one should take it personally. Let us see how many show cause notices are issued to those who were absent. I am sorry for writing this blunt piece. I may not opt to be in parliament in the next term but this article will remind many to remain truthful and faithful to their parties as flu and fevers should not stop performing their national duty.
Let us hope that there will be no rubber stamp “made in Parliament” in the future.
(Author Note: Opinions expressed are solely my own and not necessarily to reflect the views or opinions of my party. The writer is a PPP Senator, former Interior Minister of Pakistan and Chairman of think tank “Global Eye” and Senate Standing Committee on Interior. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @Senrehmanmalik)