- Finance minister says Pakistan is trapped in geopolitics
Commenting on the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) decision on Pakistan, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has said that any other country would have long been out of the ‘grey list.’
Talking to a private channel, Tarin said that the government knew that the Paris-based watchdog would praise the country, and the matter would be postponed. “Had there been another country, it would have been off the grey list. We are trapped in geopolitics,” he said.
The statement comes after FATF announced to retain Pakistan on its 'grey list' and gave it a new action plan to effectively implement its standards across a number of areas with regards to anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).
Speaking at a virtual press conference from Paris after the plenary meeting, FATF President Marcus Pleyer said the Pakistan government has made substantial progress in making its counter-terrorism financing system stronger and more effective, while largely addressing 26 out of 27 items of the action plan.
However, one action item of the action plan of investigation and prosecution of senior leaders and commanders of the UN designated terror groups remains unaddressed, Pleyer added.
A separate action plan under the Asia Pacific Group's Mutual Evaluation Report also needs to be addressed by Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the finance minister said that FATF has itself appreciated Pakistan's progress.
Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, who has been leading the Pakistan delegation at FATF, acknowledged that India has been trying to influence the forum, but has not been able to impact Pakistan’s case.
“India with its politicisation efforts has only exposed itself,” Azhar said.
Describing Pakistan’s efforts to counter India’s propaganda at FATF, he said “we have been discussing the issue with FATF's staff.”
“India, with its questionable actions at the forum, has lost credibility and FATF is aware of that,” he emphasised.