Pakistan writes to FATF seeking India's removal from review body
Pakistan has asked terror financing watchdog, FATF, to remove India as co-chair of its Asia-Pacific Joint Group, to ensure the review process is "fair and unbiased". Asad Umar, the country's Finance Minister, wrote to FATF President Marshall Billingslea with the request. "India's animosity towards Pakistan was well known," he wrote in the letter and mentioned the airstrikes conducted by IAF too. Here's more.
Pakistan rattled with India's position in FATF
The Joint Group is a part of FATF's International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) of the Asia Pacific Group. Pakistan is a member of APG. The director general of India's Financial Intelligence (FIU) is the co-chair of the Joint Group. Quite obviously, India's position in the group has rattled Pakistan. Umar wrote India's presence will "undermine the impartiality and spirit of the 'peer review' process".
Pakistan tries to convince FATF
"The ICRG and FATF meetings must not be allowed to be used as a platform by India to make political speeches against Pakistan. Sanctity of the FATF processes requires that separate assessments by individual countries for politically motivated outcomes are not allowed under the ICRG review," the letter added.
Last month, FATF had put Pakistan on greylist
On Twitter, Umar wrote, "India has blatantly abused its position by lobbying to get Pakistan blacklisted in the last review in Paris." Notably, after February 18-22 plenary and review meetings, FATF concluded that Pakistan has shown little improvement in curbing homegrown terrorism. Pakistan was kept on "greylist" and was asked "to swiftly complete its action plan, particularly those with timelines of May 2019".
FATF slammed Pakistan, condemned Pulwama attack
While designating Pakistan to the greylist, FATF condemned the Pulwama attack of February 14, which ended in the martyrdom of 40 CRPF soldiers. The body also said, "Pakistan doesn't demonstrate a proper understanding of the terror financing risks posed by JuD, LeT, JeM, and persons affiliated with the Taliban." If Imran Khan led government fails to show results by October, Pakistan will be blacklisted.
Pakistan has been on FATF's radar since 2018
Being in bad books of FATF has a direct effect on a country's economy. Pakistan's greylisting means lenders like IMF, World Bank, ADB, EU have downgraded the country. In February 2018, Pakistan was nominated for a detailed review of its "serious deficiencies" in curbing terror financing. The nomination was supported by countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and India.
Meanwhile, India has been taking steps to isolate Pakistan globally
India has been trying to isolate Pakistan globally after the dastardly Pulwama attack. Though Pakistan claimed its soil wasn't used to plan the operation, India shunned the argument and handed over a dossier to prove otherwise. Last week, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended OIC as a chief guest and asked everyone to unite against states which nurse terror outfits.