Will India ensure that Pakistan is removed by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey-list, a global body created to counter terrorism financing and money laundering?
“There is a meeting of FATF in mid-May,” Arun Jaitley told reporters. “We would want that the FATF for Pakistan should be downgraded.” In March, Pakistan requested the body to remove India from the co-chair of a body that is reviewing progress on implementation of an action plan.
However, after Masood Azhar was designated as a Global terrorist, there are wide speculations that India and China may help Pakistan in not getting further downgraded and blacklisted. Complete removal from grey-list is also on cards, but will not happen instantly, according to experts.
Former finance minister Asad Umar asked the FATF President Marshall Billingslea to appoint any other member as co-chair of the Asia-Pacific’s Joint Group, in place of India, to ensure that the FATF review process is fair, unbiased and objective.
The statement by Indian finance minister comes a day after Masood Azhar, the head of the banned Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), was designated a global terrorist by the UN Security Council (UNSC) after a long legal and political battle among the permanent members of the international body.
Since 2008, the US attempted four times to list Masood under the UNSC Resolution 1267, but every time its move was thwarted by China.
The latest resolution was moved soon after the Pulwama attack, which India claimed was carried out by the JeM. In March, China once again put a technical hold on the proposal seeking the designation of Masood as a global terrorist.