Pak. accuses India of ‘using’ FATF for political ends

Cites Jaishankar’s remarks at BJP meeting as revealing manipulation of world body

India is “using” the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for political designs against Pakistan, said the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, criticising External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar for a statement claiming credit for Pakistan’s continuance on the world body’s watchlist. According to a Pakistan MFA statement on Monday, Mr. Jaishankar’s reported comments made to a group of BJP members as part of a training workshop, “vindicated” Pakistan’s repeated accusation that India had pushed for Pakistan’s grey listing in 2018 for “political” rather than “technical” reasons, which continues to date.

“India’s credentials for assessing Pakistan in FATF as co-chair of the Joint Group or for that matter any other country are subject to questions, which we urge FATF to look into,” the MFA in Islamabad said, adding that the Pakistani government is also considering contacting the FATF President for “appropriate action”, although it is unclear what that action would be.

On Sunday, news agency ANI had reported that Mr. Jaishankar had addressed ruling party members as part of a series of “e-Chintan” workshops on Indian foreign policy achievement’s under the Modi government. According to the report, Pakistan’s grey listing for the past three years, including the most recent decision of the FATF plenary session to keep Pakistan on its “increased monitoring” list, were cited as the outcome of Indian efforts by the Minister.

“Due to us (government), Pakistan is under the lens of FATF and it was kept in the grey list. We have been successful in pressurizing Pakistan and the fact that Pakistan’s behaviour has changed is because of pressure put by India by various measures,” Mr. Jaishankar was quoted as saying.

The FATF plenary had said announced on June 25 that despite completing 26 of 27 tasks required, Pakistan’s failure to complete the last task on convicting all UNSC banned terrorists, meant it would not be delisted for the moment, and had handed down another 6-point list of tasks to be completed as well.

“Pakistan has consistently maintained that India has politicised FATF. The recent Indian statement makes clear their malintent. Manipulating an important technical forum for narrow political designs against Pakistan is disgraceful but not surprising for the Modi Government,” Pakistan’s foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi alleged in a tweet on Monday.

The Ministry of External Affairs declined to comment on the statements from Islamabad. After previous FATF plenary decisions, when Pakistan has made similar allegations, the MEA has said that the FATF has “well laid out standards and procedures” for placing countries on the grey list and black list.

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