Pakistan’s Foreign Minister SM Qureshi’s two-day “very imp trip” to China was not just aimed at securing support on Kashmir and CPEC but ensuring Beijing’s support to prevent being blacklisted at the FATF meet in near future.
Pakistan sought China’s support at the forthcoming FATF meet to prevent being blacklisted during Qureshi’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi last week, ET has reliably gathered.
China with support from Turkey and Malaysia have prevented Pakistan’s blacklisting by FATF during the last two years. Three votes are necessary at the FATF meet to prevent blacklisting. China no longer holds rotating FATF Presidency.
Dr. Marcus Pleyer of Germany assumed the position of President of the FATF on July 1. He succeeded Xiangmin Liu of China.
Pakistan has also sought Beijing’s support to be dropped from the FATF Grey List given the state of its economy, ET has further learnt. Pakistan’s presence in the Grey List makes it difficult for the country to get financial aid from the IMF, the World Bank and the European Union, affecting its economy which is already facing a crisis. Saudi Arabia’s decision to end a loan and associated oil supply has worsened the situation further, persons tracking Pak economy told ET.
However, ET has learnt, Pakistan’s exit from the current FATF Grey List will be less easier said than done despite “crackdown” on terrorists present in its territory. The apparent U-turn on Dawood Ibrahim may not help Islamabad’s case.
On Sunday Pakistan without naming Dawoood Ibrahim appeared to step back on his presence on their soil.
Dawood was among 88 others who figured in a list, published as a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to escape blacklisting by FATF. Moving to avoid the FATF blacklist, Pakistan, via the SRO dated August 18, reproduced the terror listing of Dawood by the United Nations Security Council.
However, Sunday’s statement issued by Pakistan Foreign ministry brushed aside media reports which claimed that Islamabad had “admitted to the presence of certain listed individuals on its territory” as “baseless and misleading.”
“The SROs issued reflect information contained in the list entry of UN designated individuals/entities. The reports in certain sections of the media about Pakistan imposing new sanctions measures, through these SROs, are not factual. Similarly, the assertions made by some sections of the Indian media, as to Pakistan admitting to the presence of certain listed individuals on its territory, based on the information contained in the SRO, are baseless and misleading,” the Pak statement added.
Besides Dawood, Lashkar-e-Toiba chief Hafiz Saeed, Lashkar’s operations head and
26/11 accused Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi,
Masood Azhar also figure on the list. All designated terrorists on the list will have no direct access to funds, be able to enter or transit through Pakistan, or be able to procure weapons.
In February, FATF gave Pakistan a four-month grace period to complete its 27-point action plan against money laundering and terror financing. FATF warned Pakistan of serious action during its plenary meeting held in Paris from
February 16-21 as it directed that the country would continue to remain in the Grey List.