Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Monday warned the global community that placing the country on the watch list of countries funding terrorism would be counter-productive and hamper joint efforts to curb terrorism, Radio Pakistan reported.
Iqbal's statements in Islamabad today come as a week-long plenary session of global anti-money-laundering watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is underway, where review proposals have been tabled calling for Pakistan to be put back on a list of countries which have failed to prevent terrorist financing.
If adopted the resolution would place Pakistan on the FATF grey-list of “jurisdictions with deficient anti-money laundering regimes”, where it was from 2009-15. In November 2017, the International Cooperation Review Group in Argentina adopted a resolution calling attention to Pakistan’s support to the Lashkar-i-Taiba, Jaish-i- Mohammad and affiliated groups like Jamaatud Dawa.
Pakistan’s de facto finance minister, Miftah Ismail, told Reuters last week that the United States and Britain had put forward a motion to place Pakistan on the FATF terrorist-financing watch list. Later, they also persuaded France and Germany to co-sponsor the move.
The interior minister today said that the move would hurt Pakistan's capability to fight terrorism, and questioned whose interests would be served by putting Pakistan on the watchlist.
He added that Islamabad has been diplomatically engaging different countries to apprise them of the measures taken in the war against terrorism, adding that he hoped the international community would recognise Pakistan's sacrifices in the war against terrorism.
The FATF is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1989 to develop policies to combat money laundering, but after 9/11 it has focused more on preventing terrorist financing.
Over 700 delegates from the FATF global network, as well as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and other partners, will attend meetings from Feb 18-23.
Pakistan hopes that China, which has supported Pakistan in the past, will rescue it again. Pakistan has also lobbied for support with Russia, Turkey and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.