Pakistan annoyed over manipulation of FATF process

KARACHI: The United States has put forward a motion to place Pakistan on a global terrorist-financing watch list with an anti-money-laundering monitoring group.

Pakistan has been scrambling in recent months to avert being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant with terrorist financing regulations by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a measure that officials fear could hurt its economy.

The United States has been threatening to get tough with Islamabad over its alleged ties with Islamist militants, and last month President Donald Trump’s administration suspended aid worth about $2 billion.

Islamabad, which denies assisting militants in Afghanistan and India, has reacted angrily to U.S. threats of further punitive measures.

Pakistan stresses that it’s the biggest victim of terrorism and has been fighting terrorism without discrimination.

Pakistan has also made preparations to counter US pressure, and all the details regarding movement of foreign intelligence agencies, foreign security agencies and pilferage of US/NATO/ISAF reverse cargo containers in Pakistan have been compiled.

Pakistan however kept these details in secret, but now is the time that world should know the facts about Pakistan’s stance against terrorism and the losses suffered by the country in this war.

IC3, a US based scanning system, handles the examination and scanning of US, NATO and ISAF containers to and from Afghanistan, but the scanner always gave a clear report. Although, it was established the containers were emptied in Pakistan and goods within were pilfered.

Director General of Customs Intelligence, Customs Preventive and Directorate General of Transit Trade lodged several FIRs against the authorized agents and contractors of US/NATO/ISAF who were involved in pilferage of reverse cargo containers in Pakistan. This also increased insurgency within Pakistan.

So far Pakistan has kept silence and efficiently played its part in this war. However, after US attempted to make Pakistan responsible for the failures of US.

Pakistan will share these details with allies so that the facts could be brought before the world. It may be mentioned here that after China evinced interest in Pakistan in the pretext of One Belt One Road initiative along with losses Pakistan suffered in the US’s war against terrorism Pakistan’s foreign policy has shifted.

A meeting of FATF member states is due to take place on Monday in Paris, where the organization could adopt the motion on Pakistan. The FATF, an intergovernmental body based in Paris, sets global standards for fighting illicit finance.

On the recommendation of international community, Pakistan recently has taken numerous step including banning of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation.

Sources close to the Ministry of Defence (UK) said that if a strong resolution is adopted in the FATF meeting, Pakistan may face another strong action in another meeting of Asia Pacific Group (APG) going to be held in July this year in Kathmandu. It’s understood that strict action will be put off as Pakistan has taken strong steps against the proscribed organsiations and Pakistan has been lobbying with the member countries informing them of the steps taken.

The FATF members China, Russian and Turkey are understood to be satisfied with the steps taken by Pakistan to combat terrorism in the country.

Officials also fear it would be harder and more expensive for Pakistan to borrow money from international debt markets if it was put on the FATF monitoring list. Pakistan believes that the United States has been taking a lot of steps and making statement on behalf of India in relation to Hafiz Saeed and others. Pakistan and the United Kingdom have enjoyed good relations and continued to have close ties. Both countries work closely on security cooperation but the UK government is increasingly supporting American government on the issue of extremist groups.

Meanwhile, Pakistan blamed some of 37 countries of the FATF for political maneuvering and said their real aim was to hamper its economic progress and put it on the Grey List when they meet in Paris on February 20.

Pakistan’s Mutual Evaluation is yet to be completed, and the blame game against Islamabad has started.

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