Terror funding watchlist: Pakistan says it is a target of politics
Pakistan said it was made a “target of politics” at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting, which has voted to place the country on its “grey list” over its record on money laundering and terror financing.
The decision by the 37-member body will take effect after three months after the completion of certain procedures. Pakistan will have to work with the FATF to prepare an action plan to tackle money laundering and terror financing, sources said.
Pakistan’s de-facto finance minister Miftah Ismail said his country was made a “target of politics” despite its tangible efforts to crack down on money laundering and terror financing.
“What do [they] want? They just want to humiliate Pakistan. Pakistan is not a big money launderer,” said Ismail, who is the prime minister’s adviser on finance. “If they were bothered about terror financing, they would work with us, they would see how much we have done and [what more] we will do till June,” he told Geo TV.
Putting up a brave front, the adviser said that though Pakistan was placed on the list between 2012 and 2015, the stock market still grew by 3%.
Ismail said Pakistan would see no substantial effect on its economy if placed on the list.
He said the fundamentals of the country’s economy are strong. “Nothing is going to happen before June… [but even then] nothing really will happen to Pakistan. It is not a big issue.”
The Dawn newspaper cited Pakistani bankers as saying they were watching the developments with mixed feelings of confidence and unease: they are confident that the move to put Pakistan on the FATF watchlist will not succeed, but feel uneasy because it seems there is more to this issue than meets the eye.
This impression has become stronger after the weekly media briefing by foreign office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal on Thursday, the paper reported. In response to a question raised about the resolution put forwarded to the FATF, he challenged that “the real aim of this politically motivated move is to hamper Pakistan’s economic growth”.
Top bankers are apparently confident that the FATF will refrain from putting Pakistan on the watch list as, according to them, most members of the global task force will appreciate “our seriousness in the fight against illicit finance,” Daily Dawn reported.