Pakistan to seek clarity from FATF

-India’s admission of politicizing technical forum
-FO says India’s admission on FATF politicization vindicates Pakistan’s stance
-Politicians question FATF after India ‘admits interference’ to keep Pakistan on grey list
-FM says Pakistan consistently maintained India politicizing FATF
-Adds the recent statement makes clear Delhi’s malignant
-Hammad claims India politicizing, undermining FATF spirit
-Mazari questions India’s membership of the FATF
-Shehbaz calls for clarification from FATF

By Asghar Ali Mubarak

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday said it was considering to approach the president of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for an appropriate action against the government of India after its confessions of politicizing the forum.
“Following the recent confession by Indian government, India’s credentials for assessing Pakistan in FATF as co-chair of the Joint Group or for that matter any other country are subject to questions, which we urge FATF to look into,” the Foreign Office Spokesperson said.
Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry in response to the queries by media persons on India’s disagreeable role in the FATF greylisting of Pakistan, said that “the Indian statement not only exposes its true colors, but also vindicates Pakistan’s longstanding stance on India’s negative role in FATF”.
The FO Spokesperson mentioned that Pakistan had always been highlighting to the international community the politicization 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,” he said.
The Spokesperson said while Pakistan has been sincerely and constructively engaged with FATF during the implementation of the Action Plan, “India had 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,” he said.
The Spokesperson said Pakistan’s immense progress in Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) domain demonstrated through concrete, tangible and verifiable actions had been openly acknowledged by FATF. “We are resolved to sustain this momentum and trajectory with the support and cooperation of our international partners. India’s delusions of putting pressure on Pakistan have always remained unfulfilled and would never see the light of day,” he said.
The FO Spokesperson said despite distractions including politicization of FATF processes by certain jurisdictions, Pakistan reaffirmed its commitment to bring its AML/CFT systems to international standards for its own good and also tofulfill its international obligations and commitments.
Leaders from across the political divide took to social media to criticise India for its recent admission that the Narendra Modi government had ensured Pakistan remained on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list. Amidst the outburst, there were also calls for the FATF to issue a clarification over “India’s admission”, which was seen as a vindication of Pakistan’s longstanding stance that India had politicised the global financial watchdog and “interfered in the workings of a technical forum”.
Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on July 18 had confessed that “the Narendra Modi government ensured that Pakistan remained on the grey list of FATF”. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan had consistently maintained that India had politicized the FATF and the recent Indian statements made clear their malignant.
“Manipulating an important technical forum for narrow political designs against Pakistan is disgraceful but not surprising for the Modi government,” the foreign minister said in a tweet.
Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar also said that the Indian external affairs minister’s statement “only confirms what Pakistan has been saying all along; India actively politicises & undermines the technical processes and spirit of FATF”. He added that Pakistan’s progress in fulfilling the FATF’s action plan items was “undeniable” and it would soon complete its action plans.
Meanwhile, Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari alleged that the Modi-led government’s “frustration at its failed Pak[istan] policies” had pushed it to “acts of desperation”. She said the statement by the Indian foreign minister showed India was trying to “destroy [the] credibility” of international institutions like FATF by seeking to “undermine its technical working through political machinations”.
“India’s membership of the FATF becomes a ‘question mark’ under the Modi-led government’s funding of terrorism in the neighbourhood,” Mazari tweeted.
“So is India influencing the world’s anti-money laundering task force?” quipped Minister for Shipping and Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi. PML-N President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif said India’s admission raised “serious questions on the integrity of FATF’s decision-making process”.
“The watchdog must clarify that it is not being used against Pakistan at the behest of others!” Shehbaz demanded.
The FATF had on June 25 announced that Pakistan will continue to remain on the watchdog’s “increased monitoring list” till it addresses the single remaining item on the original action plan agreed to in June 2018 as well as all items on a parallel action plan handed out by the watchdog’s regional partner, the Asia Pacific Group (APG), in 2019.
After the FATF decision, Energy Minister Hammad Azhar had also lashed out at India’s involvement, saying its face had been “badly unveiled” and it had “overplayed its hand”, because of which everyone now knew that it had one purpose, to politicise the FATF. “I think India’s thoughts and politicisation efforts there [in the forum] are losing weight with time because they have become so visible,” he had said.