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ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior and former Interior Minister Senator Rehman Malik on Wednesday wrote a letter to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) President Dr Marcus Pleyer, expressing his gratitude for his commitment that India will be assessed under the same rules soon.

Addressing a news conference, Malik made the letter public and said that to remove Pakistan from the FATF’s Grey List as it is badly affecting the country’s economy. He has termed the FATF’s recent decision of keeping Pakistan on grey list for another four months as highly discriminatory and a conspiracy of inimical countries.

He said that it was his national duty to write to President FATF to convey his and reservations of Pakistani nation. In his letter, he writes “I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation that you, in your presser on 25th February 2021, committed that “India is subject to [the] same rules as any other country and FATF will assess India as any other country when the time comes,” which I have been urging in my previous letters that India should also be treated the same way.”

He wrote that there is no ambiguity left that India at the state level is involved in financing and strengthening terrorism and he hopes that action against India by FATF will not be further delayed to ensure natural justice.

Malik said that he in his previous letters had questioned FATF as to why India was not charged with the same set of actions despite its involvement in money laundering and terror-financing at the state level. He added that FATF had informed him vide a letter dated 18th February 2019 stating “The FATF has no investigative or prosecutorial functions and is not in a position to give a legal opinion on this situation. If you are aware of a case that you believe may be related to money laundering, you should contact the appropriate authorities”. He expressed that when it comes to India, FATF answers that it has no investigative or prosecutorial functions than how it has kept Pakistan under continuous investigation and continuous prosecution?

He further writes to President FATF that the people of Pakistan terms it highly discriminated that India is given free hand while Pakistan is being victimized continuously. He adds “the recent decision by the FATF to keep Pakistan on the grey list under ‘increased monitoring’ for another four months till June 2021, is highly disappointing and the people of Pakistan have expressed their grave concern over it.”

He said that it may be noted that the Parliament of Pakistan and other organizations worked day and night even during COVI19- to meet the given requirements of FATF and it seems that FATF is heading towards more unwanted demands under “increased monitoring”, and the people of Pakistan have the right to know the definition and parameters of this ‘increased monitoring’.

“Pakistan has been fighting the war against terrorism alongside the international community and has been extending its logistics support including airports, seaports, and aerial space for the USA/NATO forces to strike terrorists as per their information and requirements. So far, in this war on terror, Pakistan has sacrificed more than 74,000 civilians and troops with $123 billion in economic losses and huge devastation to its basic infrastructure” writes Senator Malik.

He wrote that according to our information, Pakistan is the only country that has been given such heavy demands whereas Pakistan has already suffered $ 38 billion because of being on the FATF’s grey list. This decision of FATF that ‘Pakistan will remain under increased monitoring’ will, directly and adversely, affect the country’s economic growth and, in fact, it is likely pushing Pakistan towards the red line of bankruptcy, his letter reads.

“I would like to express that a delegation comprising of senior lawyers, intellectuals, and prominent human rights activists from Pakistan, to be led by me, desires to meet you in person to submit reservations on FATF discrimination against Pakistan and to file a complaint with evidence against India for terror-financing,” he wrote in the latter.

He concludes his letter with a plea that it will be highly appreciated if you (President FATF) kindly communicate a convenient date and time enabling us to visit France for the meeting either with you or the entire FATF board.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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