Pakistan to Be Added to Terror Financing List

Pakistan Interior minister Ahsan Iqbal

In its plenary meeting in Paris on Friday, the FATF extensively deliberated on ways to combat terror financing and money-laundering but did not put Pakistan on its global terror-financing watch list. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), in a report issued Friday, named nine countries with "strategic deficiencies", including Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Tunisia.

While addressing media in Lahore, Iqbal said that the government started an operation with the help of Pakistan Army, gained major victories against terrorism and was consistently working on the National Action Plan (NAP). The decision was taken at an extraordinary second vote towards the end of the five-day plenary session of the group in Paris, he said.

It is now becoming increasingly clear that Pakistan is drifting towards global isolation mainly due to its policy of using groups designated by the world community as terrorist outfits as instruments of foreign policy. China stands to gain far more because of its economic and military relations with USA and India than Pakistan and expecting Beijing to come for our rescue every time we knock on their door as a liability doesn't help the so-called "deeper than the ocean and higher than the Himalayas", mutual friendship. We are taking steps not to please the United States but for our own benefit.

The decision came days after Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said on Twitter that his "efforts have paid [off]" and Pakistan had been granted a "three months pause" by the task force.

It adopted a report to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and updated FATF Guidance on Counter Proliferation Financing. It was taken off the list only after the FATF observed improvement in Pakistan's compliance with worldwide standards.

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"We remain hopeful that China would uphold and support the objectives and standards of FATF in a balanced, objective, impartial and holistic way", he said.

Once that act was passed in 2015, the next step was action against those groups and individuals that had been designated as terrorists by the United Nations.

"When we saw terrorists like Hafiz Saeed be released for the sixth time from house arrest or saw charitable arms of Lashkar-e Taiba or Jaish-i-Mohammad operate freely, sometimes in front of police stations doing fund-raising exercises, it obviously raises serious concerns", Wells told Reuters.

The Foreign Office (FO) spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal, in a weekly press briefing, said Pakistan had serious concerns over the motion moved by the U.S. and United Kingdom at the FATF.

The FATF warned that that action could be taken in June against Iran if progress is not made.

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