ISLAMABAD: Former chairman of the Senate and PPP leader Mian Raza Rabbani said on Thursday that Pakistan’s placement on the grey list by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the world’s terrorism financing watchdog, was unfortunate and it would serve as a disincentive for the country’s fight against terrorism.

Pakistan was officially placed on the watchdog’s grey list on Wednesday during a FATF’s meeting held in Paris. The watchdog claimed that Islamabad had failed to act against terror financing on its soil.

“Pakistan, its armed forces, people and civil armed forces have paid a price which no one else has paid in the world in the fight against terrorism. Such an action by FATF smacks of bias and it is an attempt to intimidate the state of Pakistan,” the PPP senator said while reacting to the watchdog’s decision.

He said that the caretaker finance minister before proceeding to Paris should have taken the Senate into confidence as such a step would have given parliament’s legitimacy to the caretaker government.

“The delegation accompanying the finance minister should have comprised the chairmen of the standing committees of finance and interior of Senate. The Senate needs to review the FATF decision,” Mr Rabbani said.

Another PPP leader and chairman of Senate Standing Committee on Interior Rehman Malik expressed serious concern over the FATF decision.

“Wish the previous government had taken adequate measures at the time when in February this year, some members of the FATF moved to include Pakistan in the grey list ahead of the group’s meeting in Paris,” Mr Malik said.

He said the previous government of the PML-N could neither stop Kishanganga dam’s construction nor had it done anything to avert Pakistan’s placing on the FATF’s grey list.

The PPP leader said that Pakistan had volunteered to be part of the war against terrorism and it had been extending full support to its partners in the war, but still the terrorism financing watchdog had placed Islamabad on the grey list because of India’s conspiracy.

“The government must take adequate measures acceptable to the FATF so that the country could be removed from the grey list before its adverse impact,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2018

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