Pakistan’s Finance Minister Asad Umar has requested Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, which has listed the country on its Grey-list, to remove India as its Asia-Pacific co-chair for well-known “animosity between two countries” and “unbiased review process”.
In a letter sent to the task force, Asad Umar appealed to FATF President Marshall Billingslea to appoint any other member country other than India as co-chair of the Asia-Pacific to ensure “review process is fair, unbiased and objective”.
The Joint Group is a sub-body of the FATF’s International Cooperation Review Group or ICRG of the Asia-Pacific Group. India’s Financial Intelligence Unit’s director general is the co-chair of the group. Asia-Pacific Group is presenting Pakistan’s case before FATF, of which it is a part.
In the letter, Asad Umar also writes that animosity between Indian and Pakistan is well-known and it also made a reference to India’s air-strikes on Pakistan after the Pulwama attack, as “another manifestation of India’s hostile attitude.” He also writes that “we firmly believe that India’s involvement in the ICRG process will not be fair towards Pakistan.”
India had called for the blacklisting of Pakistan during the ICRG’s plenary session on 18th February 2019. On this and India’s other efforts to isolate Pakistan globally, Asad wrote: “Indian presence among the evaluators and as Co-chair of the Joint Group would undermine the impartiality and spirit of the ‘peer review’ process.”
While assuring FATF of Pakistan’s full faith in accepting the measures suggested by it, Asad writes that India must not be allowed to make political speeches against Pakistan by using ICRG and FATF meetings as platforms.
FATF has also exerted pressure on Pakistan to fulfil the commitments it made to curb terror financing and money laundering risks to the global financial system.
India wants Pakistan which is currently listed on Grey-list, to be moved to blacklist for non-cooperation in the fight against terrorism and turning a blind-eye towards money laundering and terror funding. The next review of Pakistan’s progress will be undertaken by the FATF in June 2019.