A sponsored campaign launched against Pakistan in international media on the eve of FATF crucial session
UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan’s request for asset freeze exemption for individuals listed in the UN Security Council Sanctions Regime was in accordance with the established norms and working methods of the 15-member body, according to Council diplomats.
Asked about some media reports that while taking actions against banned militant organizations, Pakistan had in August last year sought monetary relief for their leaders, these diplomats said Islamabad had in fact complied with the The Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s Action Plan by submitting requests for the asset freeze exemptions.
Reacting to media articles appearing on the eve of the FATF’s plenary meetings, one diplomat said their aim was to spread disinformation about Pakistan’s compliance with the UN counter-terrorism resolutions and mis-portray the exemption requests submitted last year by it to the UNSC’s Sanctions Committee.
“Their design was obviously to undermine Pakistan’s state institutions and create an impression that Pakistan is in violation of UN Sanctions against certain individuals.” “The facts are entirely contrary to such assertions,” he added.
The UN Security Council resolutions, the diplomats pointed out, asked all the member states to submit exemption requests from asset freeze of those individuals, who have been listed in the UN Sanctions List. Seeking exemptions for limited funds from the Security Council was a matter of routine for countries, it was pointed out.
Ever since the establishment of the UN Sanctions Regime, numerous requests for asset freeze exemption have been submitted by various countries whose individuals were listed in the Sanctions Committee, including Germany, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Canada, France, Kuwait etc.
Pakistan’s requests for asset freeze exemption were approved by all members of the Security Council Sanctions Committee, the diplomats said. The US Acting Assistant Secretary, Alice Wells, also publicly welcomed Pakistan’s request to seek this asset freeze exemption.
The asset freeze exemption was not a financial relief for those individuals, the diplomats said, pointing out that it enabled Pakistan to monitor the flow of funds to the individuals through banking channels, ensuring that no funds were used for unauthorized purposes — a requirement of the FATF, also approved by the Security Council Sanctions Committee. There was no extraordinary or sensational element in Pakistan’s documents for exemptions, the diplomats said. “The language used in letters to the Security Council by Government of Pakistan is no plea; it is in line with diplomatic etiquette.”