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November 19, 2019
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FATF Action Plan: Pakistan seeks removal of India as co-chair for fair assessment of Pakistan compliance

ISLAMABAD:  Pakistan has sought removal of India as co-chair of Asia-Pacific Joint Group of Financial Action Task Force to access Pakistan’s compliance with the Action Plan of the FATF.

Finance Minister Asad Umar has written a letter to the president of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) asking him to appoint any other member country in place of India as co-chair of the Asia-Pacific Joint Group “to ensure that [the] FATF process is fair, unbiased and objective.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of Finance, the minister has pointed towards the animosity of India towards Pakistan. He also invited the attention of the FATF president to the recent violation of Pakistan’s airspace and dropping of bombs inside Pakistani territory. which he said was “another manifestation of India’s hostile attitude”.

“The letter referred to Indian Finance Minister’s statement regarding efforts for global isolation of Pakistan and [the] Indian call for [the] blacklisting of Pakistan during the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) meeting on February 18, 2019, which demonstrated Indian intentions to hurt Pakistan’s economic interests,” the statement said.

In his letter to the FATF president, the finance minister sought to reason that given the “clear Indian motivation to hurt Pakistan’s economic interests, Indian presence among the evaluators and as co-chair of the Joint Group would undermine the impartiality and spirit of the peer review process, which lies at the heart of FATF’s methodology and objective assessment”.

“We firmly believe that India’s involvement in the ICRG process will not be fair towards Pakistan,” he asserted.

The finance minister, therefore, “urged that [the] FATF appoint another country as co-chair of the Joint Group instead of India to ensure an impartial assessment of Pakistan’s progress in regard to the FATF Action Plan.