India trying to push Pakistan into FATF blacklist: PM

Updated September 15, 2019

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan, while ruling out any prospects for resumption of dialogue with India led by the extreme right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party, said on Saturday that New Delhi was trying to bankrupt Pakistan and push it into the blacklist of Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

In an exclusive interview with Al-Jazeera TV, PM Khan recalled that after assuming office in August 2018, his government tried to start dialogue with India and sort out all differences, including the core Kashmir issue, through a political settlement, but it pulled back after realising that the [Narendra] Modi-led government had an agenda to push Pakistan into a disaster.

No question of talking to the Indian government right now after it revoked Article 370 of its constitution and annexed held Kashmir illegally against the UNSC resolutions. They not only unilaterally violated international laws, but also its own laws, he said, adding the UN resolution called for plebiscite in India-held Kashmir so that Kashmiris could determine their own fate.

The prime minister said the two countries had similar problems, including climate change, but their sincere urge for dialogue was misinterpreted.

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The BJP’s extreme right-wing, racist and fascist government took his peace gesture as an appeasement, he added.

The prime minister said India was more or less conducting genocide, a sort of racial attack against Muslims and minorities, never witnessed in the history after Nazi Germany.

About eight million Muslims in India-held Kashmir had been under siege for almost six weeks now. The developments had made the region a flashpoint as India could do anything like it did after the Pulwama attack to divert the world’s attention from its illegal annexation of held Kashmir and genocide of Kashmiri Muslims.

They would try to blame Pakistan and could do what it had done in last February, and Pakistan had fears that such incidents could happen again, he added.

In response to a question, the prime minister maintained that there should be no confusion over his statement that Pakistan would never start a war.

He said he was a pacifist and against wars. “I am clear about it,” he said and cautioned if two nuclear-armed countries fought a conventional war, there was every possibility that it could end up into a nuclear conflict, which was unthinkable.

In that case, such a conflict would have far-reaching consequences going beyond the Indian sub-continent, he added.

If the international community failed to resolve Kashmir issue, it would have impact upon the entire world and the entire world markets, he emphasised.

The prime minister said they would approach all international forums to highlight the plight of Kashmiri people and the illegal and unilateral steps taken by India. They must act now as the situation would have the potential to snowball into a disaster spilling beyond the Indian subcontinent, he reiterated.

The prime minister said they would be urging the world powers, like the US, Russia and the European countries, to play their role in resolving the issue and mentioned that China had been very supportive to Pakistan.

About US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate between Pakistan and India, PM Khan said he was really thankful to him for his offer, elaborating that when the US president seriously intervened in an issue, there would be some sort of resolution. Secondly, if the US did not directly intervene, it had a role in the United Nations and the Security Council to exercise, he added.

India was stonewalling this suggestion because it knew that once the international community was involved it would insist upon implementing the exercise of right to self determination by the Kashmiri people, he added.

The prime minister, to a question, replied that during his upcoming UN General Assembly session, he would focus on the Kashmir situation.

About Pakistan’s economy, he maintained that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government had to deal with so serious economic woes as no other regime in the past had to face. His government, he added, faced the biggest current account deficit causing pressure on rupee and leading to inflation. But the good news was that because of the difficult decisions made by his government, that deficit had been narrowed down to 70 per cent and the economy was now going in the right direction.

After completion of five years, he said, the PTI government would leave behind a surplus economy, and it would be the last International Monetary Fund package for the country.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2019