Pakistan considers approaching FATF after India says it influenced agency

ISLAMABAD: A day after New Delhi “confessed” it lobbied to ensure that Islamabad remained on the so-called grey list of the Financial Action Task Force, Pakistan on Monday said it was considering approaching the money laundering watchdog for an “appropriate action”.

In its latest meeting in June, the Paris-based agency that operates with a formal legal authority had retained Pakistan on the list despite significant progress and addressing 26 out of 27 items on the original action plan handed over to Islamabad in June 2018.

At the time, FATF president Marcus Pleyer acknowledged “substantial progress” made by Pakistan except the last item concerning the investigation and prosecution of senior leaders and commanders of groups designated by the UN as militant organisations.

Although Pleyer did not mention any names, he was referring to Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed — leaders of the proscribed Jaish-e-Mohammed and Jamaatud Dawah groups, respectively — who are accused, and wanted, by New Delhi on charges of terrorism.

The demand is also backed by Washington, London and Paris, although they like New Delhi do not provide any credible evidence.

On Sunday, Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar, while addressing a virtual training programme on foreign policy for Bhartiya Janata Party leaders, said it was due to Indian efforts that Pakistan was “under the lens” of the watchdog and it was “kept in the grey list”.

“We have been successful in pressurising Pakistan and the fact that Pakistan’s behaviour has changed is because of pressure put by India by various measures,” he added.

Responding to Jaishankar’s remarks, the Foreign Office observed “India’s credentials for assessing Pakistan in FATF as co-chair” of the body or “for that matter, any other country[‘s] are subject to questions, which we urge FATF to look into.”

“Pakistan has always been highlighting to the international community the politicisation of FATF and undermining of its processes by India. The recent Indian statement is just further corroboration of its continued efforts to use an important technical forum for its narrow political designs against Pakistan,” it said in a statement.

“While Pakistan has been sincerely and constructively engaged with FATF during the implementation of the Action Plan, India has left no stone unturned in casting doubts on Pakistan’s progress through disgraceful means.

“Pakistan has been exposing India’s duplicitous role to the international community in the past and it will also bring this recent confession by India to the notice of FATF and broader international community.”

The statement observed Islamabad’s “immense progress in AML/CTF [anti-money laundering/counter terror financing] domain demonstrated through concrete, tangible and verifiable actions has been openly acknowledged by FATF”.

It said Pakistan had resolved to sustain the momentum and trajectory with the support and cooperation of its international partners. “India’s delusions of putting pressure on Pakistan have always remained unfulfilled and would never see the light of day,” it said.

The statement also reaffirmed Islamabad’s commitment to bring its counter-terror regimes to international standards only for its own good and also to fulfil the country’s international obligations and commitments.

It said it will do so “despite distractions including the politicisation of FATF processes by certain jurisdictions”.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Go approach anybody Pakistan likes. Let’s see who’ll listen to terrorists state Pakistan. India must do all it can to push Pakistan into stone age.

  2. Again the media and politicians are making fool no one else but the citizenry of Pakistan.

    There are serious issues which still require to be complied by Pakistan. They are as under:
    (1) Pakistan require continuing making progress and demonstrate that TF (terror financing) investigations/ prosecutions target leaders/commanders of UN designated terrorist groups;
    (2) As given in Pakistan’s 2019 APG Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) by FATF (two years have already passed), Pakistan is yet having AML (Anti Mony Loundring) and CFT (combating financing of terrorism) deficiencies to ractify/ take action , namely:
    i) enhancing (proactively and willfully) international cooperation by amending its Money Loundring Act (MLA) law;
    ii) demonstrating (to the world) that assistance is being sought from foreign countries in implementing UNSCR 1373 designations (to punish the listed terrorists);
    iii) demonstrating (to world) that supervisors (Govt. Agencies, SBP, establishment etc. in Pakistan) are conducting both on-site and off-site supervision ‘commensurate with specific risks associated’ with DNFBPs (Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions), including applying appropriate sanctions where necessary;
    iv) demonstrating (to the world) that ‘proportionate and dissuasive’ sanctions are applied consistently to all legal persons and legal arrangements for non-compliance with beneficial ownership requirements;
    v) demonstrating (to the world) an increase in ML (money laundering) investigations and prosecutions and that proceeds of crime continue to be restrained and confiscated in line with Pakistan’s risk profile, including (Pakistan) working with foreign counterparts to trace, freeze, and confiscate assets; and
    vi) demonstrating (to the world) that DNFBPs (Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions) are being monitored for compliance with proliferation financing requirements and that sanctions are being imposed for non-compliance.

    Anyone can visit FATF website to note it. Pakistan YET TO SHOW the meaningful progress on these issues or else will continues to be in Gray List (and may also move to Black List). Issue here is not only of Non-compliances, it is also of denials, deceit, dishonesty, deception, trickery, neglecting seriousness, hoodwinking and fooling FATF. FATF is slowly concluding that Pak avoidance is intentional, deliberate, planned and with ulterior motives. The Pak citizenry and GoP needs to understand that such moves are not helping Pakistan and further dooming the nation. Sooner the actions better it is for Pakistan and its International Image. 🤔

  3. Do it . Pakistan should approach the FATF over India’s statement , if for anything, only to see FATF reaction. Pakistan will be dismayed. But merely ‘considering’ to approach FATF is meaningless .

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