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Pakistan Monday reiterated its objection over India's credentials to be co-chair of the Asia-Pacific Joint Group that reviews Pakistan's progress to implement the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action plan following the Indian defense minister claimed that 'FATF can any time blacklist Pakistan for terror financing.'

"Pakistan rejects the recent comments made by the Indian defense minister. The statement reinforces Pakistan's concerns, repeatedly highlighted to the FATF membership, about India's attempts to politicize the FATF proceedings to further its narrow, partisan objectives," Spokesperson Foreign Office Dr Mohammad Faisal said while commenting on Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh's recent comments, claiming that the FATF can any time blacklist Pakistan for terror financing. "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," he said, adding that Pakistan's concerns in this regard have been previously brought to the attention of the FATF members.

He said that Pakistan hopes that the broader FATF membership would take cognizance of India's continuing malicious campaign against Pakistan and reject any attempt aimed at politicizing the FATF proceedings. It is important for the FATF to ensure that the process remains fair and unbiased, he insisted. In March this year, the then finance minister Asad Umar, through a letter addressed to President FATF Marshall Billingslea asked the FATF to appoint any other member as co-chair of the Asia-Pacific Group in place of India for a fair, unbiased and objective review process of the country's anti-money laundering efforts.

The APG, in its Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) released on Sunday last, showed that Pakistan was "non-compliant" on four out of 40 recommendations of the APG on the effectiveness of the anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism system.

The report based on Pakistan's performance as of October 2018 showed that the country was fully 'compliant' only on one aspect relating to financial institutions secrecy laws. It was found 'partially compliant' on 26 recommendations and 'largely compliant' on nine others.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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