FO terms India’s statement on FATF report on Pakistan ‘preposterous and unwarranted’

FO terms India’s statement on FATF report on Pakistan ‘preposterous and unwarranted’

Islamabad (Agencies): The Foreign Office has termed India’s statement on the Financial Action Task Force report’s on Pakistan ‘preposterous and unwarranted’.

“We regard the statement issued by India regarding the FATF report as preposterous and unwarranted,” Pakistan’s FO said in a statement on Saturday.

“We hope the broader FATF membership would take cognizance of this continuing malicious campaign and reject any attempt aimed at politicisation of the FATF process by India,” read the official communiqué.

Earlier, Pakistan managed to garner much-needed support from three member states of the FATF to avoid being placed on its blacklist, but black clouds are still hanging over it.

Islamabad has been on the global money laundering watchdog’s radar since June 2018, when it was placed on a grey list for terrorist financing and money laundering risks after an assessment of the country’s financial system and security mechanism.

Turkey was the only country that had opposed the move backed by the US, the UK, and Pakistan’s arch-rival India. However, Islamabad’s longtime ally, Beijing abstained.

Moving one step further, New Delhi — co-chair of the joint group of FATF and Asia Pacific Group — wants Islamabad to be placed on the Paris-based watchdog’s blacklist of the countries, which fail to meet international standards in combating financial crimes.

However, an aggressive diplomatic push from Islamabad has frustrated the looming threat with the support of Turkey, China and Malaysia.

According to the 36-nation FATF charter, the support of at least three member states is essential to avoid the blacklisting.

Confirming the development that took place at the five-day meeting of the watchdog’s Plenary and Working Group meeting in Orlando, Florida last week, an official at Pakistan’s foreign ministry admitted that “the danger is still not over”.

The group will formally announce the decision of not blacklisting Islamabad in its Plenary scheduled in Paris on October 13-18.