KABUL (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirga on Wednesday approved a draft law on terrorist financing authorising the National Security Council (NSC) to place curbs on individuals accused of funding terrorists.
But Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahmi said the proposed anti-money laundering law needed further deliberations and would be tabled in the lower house for approval next week.
The house commission on economic affairs presented before the house the anti-terrorist financing law having five chapters and 29 articles.
Ramazan Juma Zada, the commission head, said the terrorist financing law called for judicial inquiry against individuals involved in funding terrorists and the seizure of their money.
He said all the house panels had discussed the law and found controversial only the article 10 that called for authorising the NSC to act against individuals financing terrorists as some lawmakers insisted this authority should be given to the Council of Ministers.
Lawmaker from northern Baghlan province Muheeudin Mehdi said the authority should be given to the Cabinet because nothing was mentioned in the Constitution about the NSC, which he said the president had created on his own will.
He argued some members of the NSC were neither ministers nor they had won a trust vote from the parliament.
He believed some NSC members could accuse others of financing terrorists to satisfy their personal grudges.
But outspoken female lawmaker Shukria Barakzai said the Constitution had also no mention of any Council of Ministers.
She said if NSC members could accuse people of funding terrorists due to personal differences then such accusations be expected more from the Cabinet members because they outnumbered NSC members.
Central bank duty chief Muhibullah Hadawal, who attended the session, said the authority to blacklist individuals funding terrorists rested with national security councils in the entire world.
He said the NSC could recommend blacklisting such individuals to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
Of the 124 lawmakers present, 119 voted to approve the terrorist financing law, authorising the NSC to act against individuals found guilty of funding terrorists.
The approval comes ahead of the deadline set by some Western countries to put Afghan banks on an international blacklist if the country fails to pass the anti-money laundering law.
FATF, an international body that sets standards on how countries combat money laundering, is due to decide at its meeting on June 22 on whether to blacklist Afghanistan.
Central bank chief Noorullah Dilawari last month said Chinese banks had already halted dollar transactions with Afghan banks.
But Chinese Embassy in Kabul has said that Chinese and Afghan banks continued normal business ties.