FO rejects Indian defence minister’s remark FATF can blackmail Pakistan ‘at any time’

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) on Monday rejected the Indian defence minister’s recent remark that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) could “blacklist Pakistan for terror financing at any time”.

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According to a press release issued by the FO spokesperson, Rajnath Singh’s statement “reinforces Pakistan’s concerns, repeatedly highlighted to the FATF membership, about India’s attempts to politicise the FATF proceedings to further its narrow, partisan objectives”.

As per Indian media reports, on October 1, Singh said: “The FATF can [at] any time blacklist Pakistan for terror financing.”

“India’s incessant smear campaign against Pakistan and blatant partisanship” called into question its credentials to be a co-chair of the Asia-Pacific Joint Group that reviews Pakistan’s progress in implementing the FATF action plan, reads the FO statement.

“Our concerns in this regard have been previously brought to the attention of FATF members,” the FO spokesperson added, while expressing hope that the FATF would take notice of India’s “continuing malicious campaign” against Pakistan and reject any attempt that was aimed at politicising FATF proceedings.

the press release stated, “It is important for FATF to ensure that the process remains fair and unbiased.”

The FO clarification comes a week ahead of FATF’s review meetings in Paris between Oct 13-18 that will determine whether Pakistan should remain or move out of the grey list or be put on the blacklist.

In an exclusive interview with Al-Jazeera TV in September, Prime Minister Imran Khan alleged that New Delhi was trying to bankrupt Pakistan and push it into the FATF blacklist.

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