Islamabad, Feb 23: Expressing strong objections to reports the global money laundering watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to put Islamabad back on its terrorist financing watch list, the Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) on Friday said that the concerns raised by the United States had been addressed in 2015.
“Pakistan has serious concerns over and objections to the introduction of this new “nomination” procedure which is unprecedented and in clear violation of established rules/practices of FATF. Most of the concerns raised by the US side regarding deficiencies in our CFT/AML regime had already been addressed in 2015 when Pakistan got an exit from the “grey list”,” Pakistan FO spokesperson Mohammad Faisal, as reported by Dunya News, said.
The Pakistan FO also said that several moves by the US in recent months impacted the ties between the two countries. “US took several unilateral steps in recent months which have actually impacted the relationship. It is for the US to rebuild the trust. Pakistan has serious concerns over the motion moved by US and UK at the Financial Action Task Force to put the country on the grey list,” the FO said in a statement.
However, Pakistan’s Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal slammed the report and said an official confirmation was awaited. Taking to Twitter, Iqbal said, “No official intimation of #FATF decision yet. We should not speculate till official statement is released.” In another tweet, he also thanked Turkey for opposing the US-led move against Pakistan.
The United States moved a resolution against Pakistan at the FATF, a 35-member body which works by consensus. China, Turkey, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) were opposing the US move. However, a Reuters report said that the global money laundering watchdog decided to place Pakistan on the grey list of nations that are not doing enough to combat terrorism financing as these countries withdrew their objections.
If Pakistan is placed on the terrorist financing watch list, it will invite extra scrutiny from regulators and financial institutions that will be wary of doing business with Pakistani banks. Islamabad was on the watch list between 2012- 2015 for money laundering.