After failing to put Pakistan on FATF watchlist, US acknowledges Pakistan's efforts against terror financing

After failing to put Pakistan on FATF watchlist, US acknowledges Pakistan's efforts against terror financing

ISLAMABAD - After failing to put Pakistan on The Financial Action Task Force counter terrorism watch list over money laundering and terror financing now US has acknowledged that Pakistan is taking measures to curb terrorism financing.

Earlier US has put Pakistan on notice in the international body over terror financing and seeked to tighten the screw against Pakistan inline with The Trump's South Asia policy.

The United States acknowledges that Pakistan has “begun” taking action to address money laundering and terror financing, the American embassy here said Thursday, The Nation hs reported.

US Embassy Spokesperson Richard Snelsire however, said the international community had consistently expressed its long-standing concerns about ongoing deficiencies in Pakistan’s implementation of its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism finance regime.

“These concerns remain, even aspakistan <link> has recently begun to take action to address these deficiencies,” he said. The United States, he said, encouraged pakistan <link> to continue efforts to meet its international obligations on countering the financing of terrorism. “We look forward to additional information on how pakistan <link> is meeting these obligations,” Snelsire said.

This week, Russia and China among other friends averted an embarrassment for pakistan <link> at the Financial Action Task Force moot in Paris as Islamabad got three months reprieve.

When the FATF meeting started on February 18, no country - except China - had committed to supportpakistan <link> against the United States-sponsored resolution seeking to place pakistan <link> on the terror watch list. The FATF is a global body that combats terrorist financing and money laundering.

Russia had promised to consider Pakistan’s request to speak in favour of Islamabad at the FATF meeting but only took the practical step after Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammed Asif visited Moscow. The cold-war rivals and emerging allies pledged to form a new partnership and agreed to enhance cooperation in all sectors.

The 37 permanent members of FATF include: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Gulf Co-operation Council, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and the US . Israel and Saudi Arabia have observer status.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammed Asif thanked the ‘friends’ who helped pakistan <link> at the FATF meeting. Asif also tweeted that he had “very fruitful meeting” with Russian Foreign Minister Federation Sergey Lavrov.

He said there was “consensus” on regional and international issues particularly Afghanistan. “Need for close cooperation on counter terrorism and eliminating drug trafficking, better trade and defence relations discussed,” he added, announcing the new alliance.

Richard Snelsire said discussions and deliberations over whether countries had fulfilled commitments to implement terrorist financing sanctions were a central focus of meetings of the intergovernmental FATF . “Discussions are confidential until FATF Plenary decisions are made public,” he remarked.

A senior official at the pakistan <link>foreign ministry said pakistan <link> was trying to defuse tension with the US . “The three-month reprieve will give us time to improve the situation. We will hold talks with the US and also present our evidence (on our role against money laundering and terror financing),” he told The Nation.

The official said the US seemed to be ‘misguided’ by India and with the diplomatic efforts, pakistan <link> was optimistic to revive trust level with the US .