Pakistan calls FATF decision ‘politically motivated’

Islamabad: A day after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided to place Pakistan back on its terror financing watch-list on a list of countries that financially aid terrorism, Islamabad on Saturday slammed the decision as “politically motivated” that may affect its future cooperation.

The South Asian nation would be officially placed on the FATF “grey list” in June at its next meeting, a senior government official who attended the global money-laundering watchdog’s meetings in Paris told the Express Tribune.

Pakistan was previously on the “grey list” from 2012 to 2015.

“The resolution against us was on political grounds to pressurise Pakistan. We were on this watch list till 2015 and despite this, we grew the country’s economy. It is wrong to speculate that this will have dire economic consequences on the country,” said Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal.

He said that Pakistan had made the “most efforts” to combat terrorism.

“We are taking steps not to please the US but four our own benefit. We will follow our own agenda to achieve national goals.”

According to media reports, despite an earlier reluctance to the US-led resolution, China and the Gulf Cooperation Council later dropped their opposition to the move against Pakistan. Turkey was the only country which blocked the resolution.

The reports said that Germany and France supported the US motion.

Meanwhile, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Miftah Ismail alleged that Pakistan was made a “target of politics” at the FATF meeting despite the country’s tangible efforts to crack down on money laundering and terror financing.

Now, the FATF would require Pakistan to submit an action plan in May in order to be removed from the list in the coming months or years.

If Pakistan fails to submit a plan, the FATF has the option of placing the country on its black list, which carries “adverse implications”.