Pakistan accuses India of politicising deliberations at FATF meeting in US

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan

Pakistan Saturday accused India of "politicising" the deliberations for its "narrow and partisan" objectives at the FATF meeting in Florida where the global terror financing watchdog decided to keep Islamabad on its 'grey' list for failing to curb funnelling of funds to terror groups.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which concluded its week-long meeting in Florida in the US, also asked Pakistan to take credible, verifiable, irreversible and sustainable measures to address global concerns related to terrorism and terrorist financing emanating from the territory under its control.

In June last year, the FATF placed Pakistan on the grey list of countries whose domestic laws are considered weak to tackle the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing.

"We regard the statement issued by India regarding the FATF report as preposterous and unwarranted," Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.

"If anything, this is yet another evidence of India's relentless efforts to politicise the deliberations of FATF for its narrow, partisan objectives," it said.

The Foreign Office statement came after some media reports claimed that India pushed to put Pakistan on the black list during the plenary session in Orlando.

"We hope the broader FATF membership would take cognisance of this continuing malicious campaign and reject any attempt aimed at politicization of the FATF process by India," the statement said.

India on Saturday said it expected Pakistan to take all necessary steps to effectively implement the FATF action plan fully by September and take credible, verifiable, and irreversible measures to address global concerns related to terrorism and terrorist financing emanating from its soil.

"We expect Pakistan to take all necessary steps to effectively implement the FATF Action Plan fully within the remaining time frame i.e. by September 2019 in accordance with its political commitment to the FATF and take credible, verifiable, irreversible and sustainable measures to address global concerns related to terrorism and terrorist financing emanating from any territory under its control," Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

In a statement issued at the conclusion of the meeting, the FATF expressed concern "that not only did Pakistan fail to complete its action plan items with January deadlines, it also failed to complete its action plan items due May 2019".

The FATF "strongly" urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan when the last set of action plan items are set to expire, it said.

"Otherwise, the FATF will decide the next step at that time for insufficient progress," the international financial body said leaving a strong warning to Pakistan.

Reacting to the FATF's warning, Pakistan on Friday said it was committed to taking measures needed to implement the action plan agreed with the FATF to come out of the grey list.

Pakistan managed to garner the support of Turkey, China and Malaysia to avoid being placed on the FATF blacklist at the meeting, a media report said on Friday.

The FATF currently has 36 members with voting powers and two regional organisations, representing most of the major financial centres in all parts of the globe.

On May 3 last year, former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India will ask the FATF to put Pakistan on a blacklist of countries that fail to meet international standards in stopping financial crime.

Pakistan requires at least 15 out of 36 votes to move out of the FATF 'gray' list, which is causing an estimated loss of USD 10 billion per year to the country.


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