'Hostile nation's animosity is well known': Pak wants India's removal from FATF review body
Islamabad, Mar 10: Pakistan has asked the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international terror financing watchdog, to remove India as co-chair of its Asia-Pacific Joint Group.
In a letter addressed to FATF President Marshall Billingslea, Pakistan Finance Minister Asad Umar asked him to appoint any other member country besides India as co-chair of the Asia-Pacific Joint Group "to ensure that (the) FATF review process is fair, unbiased and objective", the finance ministry said in a statement.
The Joint Group is a sub-body of the FATF's International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) of the Asia Pacific Group. Pakistan is a member of the APG and its case is being presented before the FATF by the APG. India's Financial Intelligence Unit's (FIU) director general is the co-chair of the Joint Group.
"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," Umar wrote in the letter.
Referring to India's efforts of isolating Pakistan globally and call for the country's blacklisting during the ICRG meeting on February 18, Umar said, "Indian presence among the evaluators and as Co-chair of the Joint Group would undermine the impartiality and spirit of the 'peer review' process."
Currently placed on the FATF's 'grey list', Pakistan has been scrambling in recent months to avoid being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations by the Paris-based FATF, a measure that officials here fear could further hurt its economy.
FATF recently snubbed Pakistan, saying it "did not demonstrate a proper understanding of the terror financing risks posed by Daesh (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (Jud), Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) Haqqani network (HQN), and all terrorists affiliated with the Taliban".
The proscribed terror organisations will be examined under heightened security checks at all layers of legal, administrative, investigative and financial regimes, Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported.
At least 40 paramilitary soldiers were killed when a suicide bomber of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed attacked their convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14.