In a significant development, China and Saudi Arabia are learnt to have joined India, US and European countries to send a stern message to Pakistan to complete its commitments on action against terrorist financing and money laundering given to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) before the plenary session in June, including “conviction and prosecution of top leaders of all terrorist organisations”.
Diplomatic sources said Turkey was the only country which held out in the end. This marks a major shift in China’s position, which has always backed Pakistan at the FATF.
Sources said it is now final that Pakistan will remain on the FATF grey list, and will face consequences if it doesn’t take appropriate action by June this year. An official announcement is likely to be made on Thursday.
After the second informal summit at Mahabalipuram last year, the Ministry of External Affairs had said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping were “concerned that terrorism continues to pose a common threat”. “As countries that are large and diverse, (we recognise) the importance of continuing to make joint efforts to ensure that the international community strengthens the framework against training, financing (of) terrorist groups throughout the world and on a non-discriminatory basis,” Modi and Xi had said in a statement.
“In a desperate attempt to mislead its people and the world, Pakistan has always been indulging in false and selective media leaks of FATF proceedings. The fact is that despite Pakistan’s best attempts, it has remained, and will remain, on the grey list of FATF. The onus is on Pakistan to ensure that it acts on FATF parameters to avoid being blacklisted in future. Pakistan was given a stern message by almost all FATF member countries (except Turkey) to complete the remaining 13 action plan items by June 2020 plenary, including conviction and prosecution of top leaders of all terrorist organisations as mentioned in the action plan, else consequences will follow,” a diplomatic source told The Indian Express.
“Further, Pakistan has long been trying to politicise the technical process of FATF, which is proven beyond doubt from the statements of Turkey and Malaysia leaderships recently. FATF members must take note of this,” said the source.
Ahead of the FATF’s plenary session, a sub-group tasked to review Pakistan’s case has recommended that Islamabad should continue to be in the “grey list” for its failure to check terror funding. It has stopped short of recommending the country for the black list.
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