Cat out of bag

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INDIAN External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday finally admitted that the Narendra Modi government has ensured that Pakistan remains on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The very statement of the Indian Minister is a big slap on the member countries of the FATF which consider themselves as independent states and flag bearers of human rights.

Already there was no doubt whatsoever within Pakistan that the FATF, a global money laundering watchdog, is being used as a political tool and that is why it repeatedly stressed that being a technical forum its objective ought to be checking money laundering and terror financing.

Pakistan has been kept on the grey list despite the fact it met twenty-six out of the twenty-seven conditions.

To achieve this, our government took rigorous administrative and legislative measures but what we got at the end of the day is nothing but continued pressure as the FATF at its last meeting handed over to Pakistan an additional new six point action plan.

There is also a wider acknowledgement that Pakistan has been subjected to the most challenging and comprehensive action plan ever given to any other country.

It stands abundantly clear now that the FATF is not working independently but on the dictation of a few countries.

The Indian admission has exposed that it was manoeuvring and using its influence to hurt the interests of Pakistan

But we have no doubt in saying that New Delhi was not alone as it was supported by another powerful country to keep the country under pressure.

Pakistan’s sacrifices and successful fight against terrorism has been rewarded with the FATF’s grey list. Following Indian admission, there is no justification for the anti-money laundering watchdog to keep Pakistan on the grey list.

Pakistan should forcefully raise this matter at different world forums including within FATF, which should seek apology from Pakistan for playing in the hands of a few countries.

If the FATF wants to keep some sort of neutrality and credibility, it must also carry out an early evaluation of India’s established mechanism to deal with financial crimes.

If a fair assessment was carried out, India would be found faltering as recent international reports clearly suggest that New Delhi is involved in money laundering and terror financing.

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