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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office on Friday said that India with a tainted track record in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/ CFT) domain is in no position to define “global interest” and should desist from rendering unsolicited advice for Pakistan on this account.

Responding to media queries during his weekly briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar reacted sharply to the remarks made by India’s Ministry of External Affairs following Pakistan removal from the FATF grey list.

He said that Pakistan was removed from FATF’s grey list by a consensus decision of FATF’s plenary on completion of all substantive, technical, and procedural requirements.

“We have earned delisting on technical grounds. We will continue our cooperation with FATF for further improvement of our AML/ CFT systems and for our own good. We have time and again highlighted that our actions under AML/ CFT regime are in compliance of our international obligations and commitments,” the spokesperson added.

He said that India is isolated in FATF due to its anti-Pakistan and irresponsible posture that has found no takers or backers, adding that Pakistan has repeatedly brought to the attention of FATF India’s breach of confidentiality requirements and ‘they have taken serious note of it.’

“Pakistan’s success testifies to the fact that India’s politicization efforts in FATF have eventually failed. Let me also emphasize here that India with a tainted track record in AML/ CFT domain is in no position to define “global interest” and should desist from rendering unsolicited advice for Pakistan on this account,” he said.

He added that a country with proven credentials of state-sponsored terrorism in IIOJK and against Pakistan needs to mend its own ways before pointing fingers at others. Responding to queries investigation into the assassination of senior journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya, he said that ‘this is a very serious matter, which is why it requires a detailed investigation.’

“There cannot be anything out of the box. This is not that kind of a situation. At present, there is no Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) agreement between Pakistan and Kenya, but we have been assured of full cooperation in this matter”, he added.

He stated that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in his telephonic conversation with the Kenyan President had also requested this and the Kenyan President had very kindly agreed to this request.

He said that a two-member team whose mandate is to ascertain the facts related to the murder is on its way to Kenya. He said that the team left to Kenya on Friday morning.

“We have been in touch with the Kenyan authorities at various levels here in Islamabad and in Nairobi to facilitate this visit and we look forward to full cooperation and coordination to facilitate the work of this team,” he added.

Asked as to whether Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari written any letter to UAE authorities to expel Arshad Sharif from UAE or to send him back to Pakistan, the spokesperson rejected such reports as disinformation, saying there is no such letter to the Ministry’s knowledge.

“We have seen such reports, spreading disinformation on social media as well, where some people were suggesting that there was a letter and it was allegedly signed by the Foreign Minister. I would like to say very clearly, this is absolutely baseless; there is no truth in it whatsoever. And even this matter does not relate to the Foreign Ministry,” he added.

To another query, he said that it would not be appropriate to comment on the outcomes of the probe.

“I think it would only be proper for me to say that we need to wait for the reports of the investigation, what the Kenyan authorities will formally come up with and what this team will report back,” he added.

Responding to the Indian defence minister’s provocative statement against Pakistan, he said that bizarre statements from Indian leadership indicate their nervousness arising from the fact that the Kashmiris are today totally alienated in IIOJK.

He said that India and its leadership need to seriously introspect its policy with regards to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, its behaviour in the region vis-à-vis its neighbours, its hostility and arrogance.

As far as the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is concerned, he added that Pakistan’s position is very clear and consistent and is in conformity with the position of the UN on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

“India might be taking whatever line; its position has no basis whatsoever in accordance with, in terms of international legitimacy,” he added.

He also stated that Pakistan has the capability to defend itself against any aggression or ill designed moves, ‘and we have proven that on many occasions and Indian misadventures in the past.’

He said that India needs to allow the people of IIOJK to exercise their free will in accordance with the UNSC resolutions so that this dispute can be resolved in accordance with international legitimacy. He said that Pakistan is ready to implement the resolutions.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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