Pakistan looks to avoid being added to terror financing…

Pakistan looks to avoid being added to terror financing…

Pakistan has narrowly avoided being targeted by a global watchdog over terrorism financing, the foreign minister said, after reports that the U.S. had supported a motion to place its ally on the group's watchlist.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body that combats terrorist financing and money laundering, met in Paris amidst reports that the U.S. with support of some European allies was trying to place Pakistan on a list of countries that financially support terrorism.

Pakistan says it has been given three months to prove it is doing enough to stay off an global watch list for countries that fail to curb the financing of terror groups.

Asif said that Pakistan's efforts have paid off, and the Paris conference has deferred voting for three months. "Grateful to friends who helped", Asif added.

Pakistan has sent adviser to prime minister on finance, Dr Miftah Ismail, to attend the FATF meeting at a time when the activities of Hafiz Saeed's Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and the Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) have created problems for the Pakistan government, media reports said.

"The measure to blacklist Pakistan is part of a propaganda to economically destabilise our country", Pakistan's Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said yesterday.

United Nations chief 'deeply alarmed' by Eastern Ghouta violence
The agency is angry at the fierce bombing by government forces that has resulted in hundreds of casualties, including children. At least one faction in East Ghouta has links to al Qaeda, but its presence is believed to be small.

But this implies, according to the minister's statement, that the global body to combat terror financing would take a call on putting Pakistan in the watch list a few months down the line. No consensus for nominating Pakistan.

Relations between Pakistan and the U.S. have been tense since President Donald Trump lashed out at Islamabad last August, upbraiding it for sheltering "agents of chaos".

If the FATF adopts the resolution, Pakistan could once again be placed on the grey list of countries with deficient anti-money laundering regimes.

According to official sources, Ismail visited Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands last week in an attempt to garner support against the United States move.

Senior Pakistani defense expert Said Nazir Mohmand argued that there are several factors that have brought Pakistan and Russian Federation closer, including U.S. quest for longer presence and continuation of war in Afghanistan, and U.S. President Donald Trump's aggressive posture against Pakistan. However, Pakistan's government is concerned the FATF decision could hurt its banking sector, causing real financial pain to the economy just as a national election looms.

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