India has been using the FATF platform for political purposes: Finance Minister Asad Umar

March 11, 2019

India has been using the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) platform for political purposes, accused Finance Minister Asad Umar. He said Pakistan has asked the FATF to revoke India’s position as co-chair of its Asia-Pacific Joint Group in light of this abuse of position. 

Umar said that this is a legitimate concern as India has been lobbying against Pakistan at the forum.

It’s not Pakistan’s choice, he said, referring to the FATF’s decision to take the country off the grey list. They have to make the decision, but our concerns are legitimate, he said. The finance minister said that last week, before the board meeting they got calls informing them that India had been going to individual companies and lobbying against Pakistan.

“India is involved in lobbying against Pakistan and it even contacted individual companies ahead of board meeting, calling them to black list Pakistan immediately,” the finance minster disclosed. He said that India presented its individual report against Pakistan at the FATF, which is a violation of the rules because there is no concept of separate reports by member countries.

Related: Pakistan raises questions over India’s involvement in FATF group

This is an abuse of the FATF process, he said. Last week, Pakistan declared banned outfits high risk, he said, explaining that this was the FATF’s biggest concern. We have now fulfilled this condition, he said.

The finance minister added that the FATF had expressed satisfaction with the report Pakistan had submitted till January. The biggest issue it had was Pakistan not declaring banned outfits high risk and now that we have fulfilled that condition, there are chances that we will be cleared by September.

Umar also wrote a letter to the FATF about India’s lobbying on Saturday, asking FATF President Marshall Billingslea to remove India from the position of co-chair.

In letter, the minister stated that India’s animosity towards Pakistan was well known and the recent violation of Pakistan’s airspace and dropping of bombs inside Pakistani territory was another manifestation of India’s hostile attitude. The letter referred to the Indian finance minister’s statement regarding efforts for global isolation of Pakistan and Indian call for blacklisting of Pakistan during the ICRG meeting on February 18, which demonstrated Indian intentions to hurt Pakistan’s economic interests.

The FATF’s next review is expected to take place in May or June while the final review will be done in September .

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