ISLAMABAD: Senator Mushahid Hussain has said that although Pakistan is doing it in order to meet the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), money laundering and terror financing are not in the interest of the country.
“The FATF is a new weapon to pressurise countries to comply and recently the UAE has been warned on the matters of financing, but the fact is that we should clean our house ourselves,” he said while addressing a webinar organised by the Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS).
“They (FATF) will not put us in the black list but keep on mounting pressure on us,” he said.
The webinar on “Post Covid-19 Relevance of BRI: Focus on CPEC” focused on the political future of the region in the wake of changing international scenario.
Senator Hussain, who was the keynote speaker, stressed that the issues faced by Pakistan today were the fallout of previous build-up related to Afghan jihad.
“The FATF has given us an opportunity to clean it up,” he said, adding that the changing attitude of Pakistan towards Afghanistan’s internal affairs was also good for the stable future of the region.
Senator Hussain, who is also chairman of Pakistan-China Institute, lauded the incumbent government for striving to have a lasting peace across Pak-Iran border.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Iran last year was very important,” he said, adding that neither Pakistan’s territory should be used against Iran nor Iranian territory should be used against Pakistan.
Senator Hussain said that if Jundallah was in Pakistan, the Baloch Liberation Army was in Iran, “If we play the Iranian Baloch card, they will play the other card. So I think we should not do so as this will only serve the interest of India.”
The speakers also discussed growing ties between the US and India and the emergence of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Afghanistan.
Senator Hussain said that in Syria, the IS group had the support of the CIA and Mossad. “It has been documented that the IS militants fighting the Syrian army were getting medical treatment at Israeli hospitals in Golan Heights.”
At the same time, he said, the world was changing and the decline of the West was evident, particularly during the Covid-19 crisis.
Dr Munawar Hussain of the Area Study Centre for Africa, North and South America, Quaid-i-Azam University, said that the US saw the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as Chinese expansion and did not like this development since it perceived the CPEC as a threat to the US.
“The CPEC is considered by the Americans as a derailing factor for US hegemony and their liberal global order by disturbing the local capacity,” Dr Hussain said.
Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2020