ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday called for a “fair and unbiased” evaluation of its progress towards meeting the requirements of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on countering illicit finances as it pointed to continuing malicious propaganda by India.

“We hope that the broader FATF membership would take cognisance of India’s continuing malicious campaign against Pakistan and reject any attempt aimed at politicising the FATF proceedings. It is important for FATF to ensure that the process remains fair and unbiased,” the Foreign Office said in a rejoinder to a claim made by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

Mr Singh had recently said that the FATF can blacklist Pakistan anytime for terror financing.

FO says India’s partisanship calls into question its credentials to be co-chair of Asia-Pacific Joint Group

The FATF would at its meetings in Paris from Oct 13-18 evaluate the progress made by Pakistan towards complying with the parameters prescribed by it at the time the country was put on the grey list. The list comprises countries with deficiencies in their counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering regimes.

India is the co-chair of the Asia-Pacific Joint Group that reviews Pakistan’s progress to implement the FATF Action Plan.

The FO said Indian defence minister’s statement strengthened Pakistani concerns, which have in the past been repeatedly highlighted to the FATF membership, about India’s attempts to politicise the FATF proceedings to further its narrow, partisan objectives.

“India’s incessant smear against Pakistan and blatant partisanship also call into question its credentials to be co-chair of the Asia-Pacific Joint Group that reviews Pakistan’s progress to implement the FATF Action Plan. Our concerns in this regard have been previously brought to the attention of FATF members,” it added.

It should be recalled that Asia-Pacific Group, a regional affiliate of FATF, in its report in the run-up to the session in a recently launched report observed that Pakistan had either fully, largely, or partially complied with 36 of the 40 parameters set by the FATF at the time of the country’s inclusion in the grey list.

The APG report titled ‘Mutual Evaluation Report 2019’ would provide basis for the FATF to make its final determination on whether or not to keep Pakistan on the grey list and if it could be restored to the category of normal countries.

Published in Dawn, October 8th, 2019