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Pakistan to be placed on FATF ‘grey list’ in June, confirms FO

Tariq Ullah Wardak

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office Spokesman on Wednesday said that a new foreign policy would be devised as per recommendations from National Security Committee aimed at strengthening the relationship with regional countries.

Addressing weekly briefing at Foreign Office, Dr Faisal said that although Pakistan has come into the grey list of FATF but there are no chances of coming on to the blacklist of FATF.

Faisal revealed that a decision to place Pakistan on the watchlist was taken at the FATF plenary held in Paris last week. He, however, ruled out the possibility that Pakistan could even be placed on the international watchdog’s blacklist over a lack of compliance.

“Pakistan will be placed on the [FATF] ‘grey list’ in June, but there is currently no chance of [its] placement on the blacklist,” the spokesman said, adding that Pakistan will cooperate with FATF in every possible way.

An action plan to eradicate terrorist financing is being prepared and will accordingly be shared with the international body, he said.

According to Dr Faisal, the FATF has asked Pakistan to take additional steps to curb money laundering and terror financing.

He said Pakistan has already taken steps to remove the deficiencies in these areas and cited the presidential ordinance that was quietly passed days before the FATF plenary to amend the anti-terror legislation in order to include all UN-listed individuals and groups in the national listings of proscribed outfits and persons.

All matters related to FATF will be dealt with by the finance ministry, the FO spokesman said, adding that all matters relating to the terror financing issue except for press releases are of a “sensitive nature”.

About Pak-US relations, Dr Faisal said Pakistan and the United States desire to move forward and find common ground for continued cooperation.

Responding to questions at the weekly news briefing, he said the latest visit of Senior Director at the US National Security Council Lisa Curtis was an indication of this desire. He said during the visit, both sides expressed the desire to work together to pursue the common objective of stabilising Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan has always maintained that the only solution of Afghan conflict lies in the politically negotiated settlement, which is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. He pointed out that military approach of seventeen years has failed to render desired results and increased miseries of Afghan civilians.

To a question about belligerent statements by the Indian army chief, the spokesman said these reflect the unfortunate jingoistic mindset in India. He said as a responsible member of the international community, Pakistan exercises restraint but our armed forces are fully capable of responding to any threat.

About the development of drone technology by India, he said its use should be consistent with the principles of UN Charter and international human rights law and established norms of a responsible state.

He, however, said development of drone technology by India is worrying in the context of its expanding military capabilities in conventional and non-conventional domains.

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