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ISLAMABAD: A day after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided to continue to keep Pakistan on its grey list, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi questioned “whether the forum is technical or a political one,” asserting that there was no room to keep the country on its increased monitoring list following it implemented 26 out of 27 action plans.

In a statement on Saturday, the foreign minister raised questions on the FATF decision to continue to keep Pakistan on the grey list, till it addresses the single remaining item on the action plan, saying that “some powers desire to keep the ‘sword of FATF’ over Pakistan.”

“It has to be ascertained whether the FATF is a technical forum or a political one? It also needs to be looked into whether the forum is being used for political purposes?” Qureshi raised question.

As far as the technical aspects of the action plan are concerned, he said that Pakistan was given 27-point action plan and the forum itself is acknowledging that 26 out of the 27 points have been implemented.

“Significant progress has also been made on the 27th point and we intend to do more on it. In my view, there is no room for Pakistan to remain on the grey list in such a situation,” Qureshi asserted.

Without naming any, the foreign minister also maintained that some powers are bent upon keeping the “sword of FATF” over Pakistan.

“I also deem it necessary to clarify that Pakistan has taken all the measure [against money laundering/terror financing] keeping its own interest. Our interest is, to curb money laundering and stop terror financing,” he stated, adding that the government would continue to do what is in the country’s interest. Earlier on Thursday, at the conclusion of its plenary session in Paris, the FATF decided to continue to keep Pakistan on its grey list till it addresses the single remaining item on the original action plan agreed to in June 2018, besides giving Pakistan six more action points to address the strategically important AML/CFT [anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism] deficiencies.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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