India “politicising” FATF proceedings against Pakistan: Pak FO
Islamabad, May 03: India has been “politicising” the proceedings at the FATF against Pakistan, the Foreign Office claimed Friday, a day after the Indian government said it seeks downgrading of Pakistan on the global watch dog’s terrorism financing list.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday that India will ask the global money laundering and terror finance watchdog to put Pakistan on a blacklist of countries that fail to meet international standards in stopping financial crime.
“We want Pakistan downgraded on the FATF list,” Jaitley told reporters in New Delhi, adding that the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was due to meet in mid-May and India would make its request then.
“The statement re-confirms Pakistan’s longstanding concerns that this technical forum is being politicised by India against Pakistan,” Pakistan Foreign Office said.
“India has made several efforts in the past as well to politicise the proceedings at FATF,” it said in a statement.
The last plenary of the FATF in February decided to continue to keep Pakistan in the “grey list” of countries whose domestic laws are considered weak to tackle the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing.
The Foreign Office claimed that prior to the FATF plenary meeting in February 2019, India circulated its own assessment of Pakistan’s progress and solicited immediate support for “blacklisting” Islamabad.
On several previous occasions, calculated leaks were made to the Indian media about the proceedings of the FATF, which are strictly confidential, it said.
The Foreign Office said these “instances of politicisation” by India were brought to the attention of the President of FATF by the Finance Minister of Pakistan.
“India’s attempts to politicise the proceedings in FATF against Pakistan call into question its credentials for co-chairing and being a member of the Asia Pacific Joint Group that reviews the progress made by Pakistan to implement the FATF Action Plan,” it said.
Pakistan remained committed to fully implementing the FATF Action Plan and the commitment has been made at the highest political level, it said.
The FATF must ensure that the process remains fair, unbiased and firmly grounded in the technical criteria of the forum, it added.
Pakistan was placed on the grey list by the FATF in June last year for failing to curb anti-terror financing.
Currently placed on the ‘grey list’, Pakistan has been scrambling in recent months to avoid being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations by the FATF, a measure that officials in Islamabad fear could further hurt its economy.