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WASHINGTON: The United States has appreciated and recognised Pakistan’s continued efforts to remove obligations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

State Department spokesperson Ned Price while briefing the media in Washington said Pakistan had made significant progress on its first action plan with 26 of 27 action items largely addressed.

Ned Price said the US encouraged Pakistan to continue working with the FATF and the international community to swiftly complete the remaining action item by demonstrating that terrorism financing, investigations, and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated groups.

He said “we do further encourage Pakistan to expeditiously implement its new second action plan.

“The global watchdog had, in its virtual plenary meeting last month, retained Pakistan in the ‘grey list’ for failing to comply with the laid down action plan.

“We encourage Pakistan to continue working with the FATF and the international community to swiftly complete the remaining action item by demonstrating that terrorism financing, investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated groups,” Price further said.

Pakistan was pushed into the ‘grey list’ in June 2018 and given an action plan to complete by October 2019. However, the failure to comply with the FATF mandates resulted in the country continuing to stay on the list.

Remaining in the ‘grey list’ has made it increasingly difficult for Pakistan to get financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the European Union, especially at a time when it’s struggling with a financial crisis.

Thanks to China, Turkey and Malaysia, Pakistan has managed to escape the ‘black list’, for which a country needs the support of three nations.

Commenting on the Afghan situation, Price said Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process was important.

US State Department spokesperson said, “Afghanistan’s neighbours do have a role to play for peace in the war-torn country and added that Pakistan has the potential to play its role in this regard.”

Pakistan has reacted strongly after the remarks of Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, last week, that the Modi government ensured that Pakistan remained on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Foreign Office had said that the remarks of Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar have exposed the true colours of India and also vindicated Pakistan’s longstanding stance on India’s negative role in FATF.

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