Pak rejects Rajnath Singh’s remarks regarding FATF blacklisting








Pakistan on Monday rejected Defence Minister Rajnath Singh remarks that Financial Action Task Force or FATF can blacklist the Islamic nation anytime for the country’s involvement in terror financing.

Foreign Office, in a statement, accused India of “politicising” the FATF proceeding for self motives, Dawn reported.

During annual day celebrations of Defence Accounts Department (DAD) of Ministry of Defence on October 1, Rajnath had said, “Our neighbour is a living example of financial mismanagement… Excessive militarisation and focus on wrong policies in the neighborhood has led to a situation where a country could be blacklisted by the international agency, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for terror financing and its Prime Minister is struggling to arrange even for a plane to attend a global event,”

The development comes a week ahead of a crucial FATF review meeting in Paris on October 13- 18 to decide whether Pakistan should be blacklisted or not.

The FATF had recently given a stern message to Pakistan to “swiftly” complete its action plan to curb terror financing by October or face consequences by getting itself blacklisted, which could pose problems to the country’s already stagnant economy.

India has charged Pakistan with failing to take concrete action against Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar and other UN-designated terrorists.

Following the designation as a global terrorist by the UN in May, Azhar has been shifted to a safe house in Islamabad from his residence in Bahawalpur by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), sources said in May.

The Asia Pacific Group (APG) FATF has concluded that Islamabad has not taken sufficient measures to fully implement UNSCR 1267 obligations against 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and other individuals associated with LeT, JuD, FIF, among other terror groups.

In August, the Asia Pacific Group of the FATF had put Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List, sources in the Intergovernmental organization.

The category is reserved for the countries having major deficiencies in their Anti Money Laundering and counter financing of terrorism framework and implementation.

The country had been under the FATF radar for its apparent complicity towards terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), among others. In addition, terrorists like Hafiz Saeed are regularly seen ranting anti-India rhetoric and collecting the so-called “donations” in their “charitable organisations” to fuel unrest in the neighbouring country.

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