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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 26/08/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) A flurry of protests emerged amongst the business community in the UAE and social media upon the call made last week.Imran Khan’s ‘Hawala’ bouncer has pitched him right into the eye of a storm with the Pakistan’s finance minster hitting back at the proposal and overseas Pakistanis decrying the call. Pakistan’s cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan flashes the victory sign to his supporters during a sit-in protest near the Parliament area in Islamabad recently. — AP

Pakistani Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said Khan’s proposals were a violation of national and international rules.

He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chief has also suggested to compatriots abroad to halt sending foreign currency to Pakistan which is tantamount to damaging the national economy. Ishaq Dar said the civil disobedience call given by the PTI was reflective of the attempt to create anarchy and chaos in the country.

Pakistani expatriates who may be considering sending remittances through illegal hawala channels may find themselves in a legal soup since hawala is considered illegal in the UAE.

Hawala or hundi is a method of remitting foreign exchange to a home country through a broker instead of through legal banking channels. Hawala encourages illegal transfers and criminal activities.

A flurry of protests emerged amongst the business community in the UAE and social media upon the call made last week by Imran Khan. Khan has called for a civil disobedience movement as a sign of protest against the current Pakistan government which he claims came to power due to massive rigging in the 2013 elections.

For the past two weeks Khan and supporters of his political party have been protesting through a sit-in in the capital city of Islamabad. They have been calling for resignation of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.A member of the Pakistan Business Council Dubai Tanveer Khawaja said “We condemn the statement of Imran Khan to encourage overseas Pakistanis to send money in an illegal way.

“We overseas Pakistanis especially who have been living in the Gulf region for decades have always been encouraging our compatriots to send money in a legal way.

“Pakistan is a poor country and depends on foreign exchange through remittance. This kind of step cannot be encouraged.”

He also said that there should be a clear line between state and politics. “Any statement that is harmful to the state cannot be encouraged” he said. A number of Pakistanis said on social media that using hawala was equal to money laundering. AhsanTanoli said on Twitter: “Hawala is money laundering and Imran Khan is encouraging his followers for money laundering.”

Another Twitter user Abdullah Saad said “Pakistanis should bring in money via hawala and not banks”

Murtaza Solangi said “Imran openly asks Pakistanis to send money through hawala or hundi and not through banks. Does he understand the international implications”



Khaleej Times

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