Friday, February 26, 2021

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Pakistan Could Face Severe Economic Sanctions Like Iran If Not Removed From FATF Grey-List By April

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has requested the Trump Administration to remove the name of Pakistan from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) greylist as India is aggressively lobbying to place Islamabad in the blacklist.

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Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said: “This meeting is very important for us as it leads to a plenary meeting in Paris in April where the world body will decide whether Pakistan remains on the list or is taken off,” he said.

The FATF has placed Pakistan in the greylist for money laundering and terror financing as terrorists are still able to freely operate from Pakistan and raise funds. If Pakistan is not removed from the grey-list by April, Islamabad could be blacklisted by the FATF and face severe economic sanctions like Iran.

Qureshi also urged the US to review its travel advisories for Pakistan and encourage investments in the country. US travel advisories still present Pakistan as a country Americans should avoid travelling because of terror threats.

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“Reviewing the advisory can boost tourism in Pakistan,” he said while reminding Washington that the United Nations had recently included Pakistan among 10 top tourism destinations. The United Nations and several European countries also had once again declared Islamabad as a safe city for diplomats and their families, he said while asking Washington to do the same.

Qureshi admitted that the removal from the FATF list could not happen overnight, but said that the US could enhance its engagements with Pakistan while waiting for the removal. “Please consider how you can help improve Pakistan’s exports, increase our forex reserves, we need your guidance there too,” he said. “We also need your investment in the tourism industry.”

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Qureshi noted that in his meetings with PM Imran Khan last year, US President Donald Trump had said that he wanted to see Pakistan off the FATF grey list. “So, we expect US officials to work for it now.”

Earlier, Indian chief of defence staff – Gen Bipin Rawat attacked Pakistan and said – “Any country that is sponsoring terrorism has to be taken to task. I feel blacklisting by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is one good measure. Diplomatic isolation, you have to do this.” He added that if the blacklisting fails to yield desired results, then hard action needs to be taken.

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