- Says it will approach FATF for appropriate action
Pakistan has said that India's admission of its role in ensuring that Pakistan stays on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) not only exposes its true colours but also vindicates Islamabad's longstanding stance on the neigbour's negative role in FATF.
In a statement on Monday, the Foreign Office (FO) said that Pakistan has always been highlighting to the world the politicisation of FATF and undermining of its processes by India.
The press release continued that India's statement is just further corroboration of its continued efforts to use an important technical forum for its narrow political designs against Pakistan.
"While Pakistan has been sincerely and constructively engaged with FATF during the implementation of the Action Plan, India has left no stone unturned in casting doubts on Pakistan’s progress through disgraceful means," FO said.
The ministry added that Pakistan will bring this recent confession by India to the notice of FATF and broader international community and is considering approaching FATF President for appropriate action in this matter.
On Sunday, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that Narendra Modi's government ensured that Pakistan remained on the grey list.
“Due to us, Pakistan is under the lens of FATF and it was kept in the grey list,” ANI quoted Jaishankar as saying. “We have been successful in pressuring Pakistan and the fact that its behaviour has changed is because of pressure put by India by various measures."
While responding to the Indian minister, the FO said, "Following the recent confession by Indian Government, India’s credentials for assessing Pakistan in FATF as co-chair of the Joint Group or for that matter any other country are subject to questions, which we urge FATF to look into," FO press release said.
The FO further said that Pakistan’s immense progress in anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) domain demonstrated through concrete, tangible and verifiable actions has been openly acknowledged by FATF.
"We are resolved to sustain this momentum and trajectory with the support and cooperation of our international partners. India’s delusions of putting pressure on Pakistan have always remained unfulfilled and would never see the light of day," FO added.
"Despite distractions including politicization of FATF processes by certain jurisdictions, Pakistan re-affirms its commitment to bring its AML/CFT systems to international standards for its own good and also to fulfill its international obligations and commitments."
Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar also responded and said that the Indian minister's remarks only confirm what Pakistan has been saying all along; India actively politicises and undermines the technical processes and spirit of FATF.
"Our progress is nevertheless undeniable & we shall soon be completing both our action plans," Azhar tweeted.
On June 25, the FATF said that Pakistan will continue to stay on its grey list, adding that it has now completed 26 of the 27 action items in its 2018 action plan. It said that it recognises Pakistan’s progress and efforts to address and strengthen its AML and CFT regime, and the country’s continued political commitment has led to significant progress across a comprehensive CFT action plan.
In the press briefing, FATF President Marcus Pleyer, however, said “all deficiencies” must be addressed if a country wishes to be removed from the increased monitoring list. “It will be discouraging for other countries if they complete the entire action plan. We treat all countries equally,” said Pleyer when asked if it was going to be discouraging for Pakistan given that it completed 26 of the 27 items in the action plan.
In order to be removed from FATF monitoring, a jurisdiction must address all or nearly all the components of its action plan.
Once the FATF has determined that a jurisdiction has done so, it will organise an on-site visit to confirm that the implementation of the necessary legal, regulatory, and/or operational reforms is underway and there is the necessary political commitment and institutional capacity to sustain implementation.
If the on-site visit has a positive outcome, the FATF will decide on removing the jurisdiction from public identification at the next FATF plenary. The concerned jurisdiction will then continue to work within the FATF or the relevant FSRB, through its normal follow-up process, to improve its AML/CFT regime.