Stern message to Pak from FATF members, Turkey sole exception
At the Paris Plenary of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), all 39 members, barring Turkey, sent a stern message to Pakistan to complete the remaining 13 action plan items by the June 2020 plenary, including the conviction and prosecution of top leaders of terrorist organisations. A formal decision that Pakistan will remain on the Grey List of FATF will be taken on Friday.
According to diplomats based in Paris and counterterror operatives, FATF members were also asked to take note of how Pakistan was trying to politicise the technical process of FATF, which is proven from the statements of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad. Days before the FATF Paris Plenary, Erdogan made it clear that Turkey would help Pakistan stay off the terrorism financing blacklist and counter the political pressure within FATF. Mahathir openly supported Pakistan and praised its counterterrorism efforts.
One of the delegates at FATF said that while Pakistan was desperately trying to mislead its own public through misleading, wrong and selective media leaks, the fact is that the onus is on Islamabad to act on FATF parameters to avoid being blacklisted in the future. “ Despite its best efforts, Pakistan has remained and will remain on the grey list,” said an official from Paris.
Pakistan, on its part, tried to spread a narrative domestically that the Indian side was snubbed twice on Wednesday when it called for Islamabad to be moved to the black list without the support of any other FATF member. According to details available with Hindustan Times, the Imran Khan government claimed that India had also tried to rake up the issue of Masood Azhar, but found no support as other members said Islamabad had addressed the issue in its report. Global terrorist and Emir of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, Masood Azhar has been untraceable, Pakistan said in its report, while Indian intelligence agencies have pinpointed his location to a Bahawalpur seminary in Punjab.
Pakistan has also claimed that India was discouraged by the chair (held by China) and other countries for calculated, misleading leaks in a section of media pertaining to FATF, given that it is a secret process.