China praises Pak's counter terrorism efforts
Beijing, Feb 27: China today said global community should shed bias and take an "objective" look at Pakistan's efforts on counter-terrorism, days after it backed out from supporting its all weather ally at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting which placed Islamabad on terrorist financing watch list.
The 37-nation FATF at its plenary meeting in Paris last week placed Pakistan on a watch list of the countries where “terrorist outfits are still allowed to raise funds”.
Though Pakistan has not been named, it has to submit the action plan to implement UN Security Council resolutions on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism by April, failing which it would figure in the list.
"Pakistan government and people have made enormous sacrifices for counter terrorism," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing here today.
China which earlier opposed the move along with Saudi Arabia and Turkey later backed out after Riyadh under pressure from the US withdrew its opposition in view of the rule that at least support of three members was required to stall the resolution against Pakistan.
"At this stage, the Chinese informed Islamabad that they were opting out as they did not want to 'lose face by supporting a move that's doomed to fail'," Pakistan's daily ‘Dawn’ quoted a Pakistani official as saying.
Asked about China's stand at the Paris meeting, Lu said Pakistan's efforts (on counter terrorism) also reflected in the financial areas.
"In recent years Pakistan has taken measures to enhance finance regulations and combating financing for terrorism. China highly recognise this," he said.
"We call on the relevant parties of the international community to view Pakistan's efforts in an objective and just way, instead of criticising it with bias," he said.
"As the all-weather partner of Pakistan, China will continue enhancing close coordination and communication with Pakistan in counter terrorism," Lu said.
The US officials said Jama-ud-Dawa leader Hafiz Saeed and his "charities" were top on the list of the groups that the FATF wanted Pakistan to act against.
The stand by China and Saudi Arabia, which were Pakistan's closest allies, evoked strong comments in Pakistani media.
"Now that the news from the just-concluded round of meetings of the Financial Action Task Force held in Paris has been digested, it is important to focus on the fact that two countries that we are repeatedly told to think of in brotherly terms — China and Saudi Arabia — both abandoned Pakistan during the proceedings, opening the way for the motion advanced by the US to grey list the country's financial system," an editorial in Dawn said.
"If there is one thing to learn from this episode, it must be this: in ties between countries, there are no 'friends' and no 'brothers'. There are only interests and bargaining positions," the editorial said.