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Written by Sushant Singh
| New Delhi |

Updated: January 24, 2020 7:12:39 am





Changing equations in region help Pakistan get relief at FATF meet Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. (Reuters File Photo: Denis Balibouse)

The altering geopolitical atmosphere, together with an imminent ceasefire take care of the Taliban in Afghanistan, has earned Pakistan diplomatic help from the United States and different western nations at a gathering of the Asia Pacific Joint Group of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Beijing.

At the assembly Wednesday, Pakistan defended the nation’s compliance report on combating terror-financing networks. Diplomatic sources current at the assembly informed The Indian Express: “It was a bit shocking the way in which US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and even Japan, all of them favoured Pakistan. There is a robust case in opposition to Pakistan, as has been because it was placed on the gray record, however it was geopolitics at play…appears the altering geopolitical atmosphere helped Pakistan.”

Sources mentioned Pakistan had an necessary position in brokering a ceasefire take care of the Taliban in Afghanistan, negotiated this week at Doha with a US official staff led by Zalmay Khalilzad, its particular envoy on Afghan reconciliation. It is believed that Pakistan might have additionally had a job to play in decreasing tensions between Iran and the US earlier this month. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had a bilateral assembly with President Donald Trump in Davos this week.

At the January 21-23 assembly in Beijing, the Pakistani delegation was led by Hammad Azhar, its financial affairs minister. China, which is president of the FATF and co-chair for the Asia Pacific Joint Group, supported Pakistan at the assembly.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang informed the media in Beijing: “Pakistan has made great efforts to strengthen its domestic counter-terrorism financing system with visible progress. Its political will and active efforts should be recognised and encouraged by the international community.”

Of the 27 actions it was presupposed to undertake when it was placed on the gray record in June 2018, Pakistan had been discovered totally compliant on 5 factors at the final plenary assembly. Sources mentioned it was anticipated, primarily based on the actions taken by Pakistan, that “it could have reached a maximum of seven but it now seems that it will be deemed as compliant on 16 actions”.

Explained: What is the FATF, and why is Pakistan underneath its scanner?

“The reasons given by western countries in Beijing were that ‘Pakistan has shown progress, it has provided so much data, its facts are in place and so on’, which helped Pakistan in a big way,” sources mentioned.

FATF’s upcoming plenary assembly is to be held subsequent month in Paris the place Pakistan is prone to make a case for its exclusion from the gray record. To obtain that, it wants 12 votes out of a complete of 39 in Paris; it wants solely three to keep away from falling into the FATF blacklist. Sources consider that Pakistan is prone to be saved on the gray record in Paris however could possibly be moved out in June or September.

Pakistan submitted a 650-page evaluation report back to the FATF on January 8. Submitted in response to 150 questions raised by the FATF in October 2019, it outlined steps taken by Pakistan till January 2020 to implement the Asia Pacific Group’s motion plan, together with in opposition to funds to teams just like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, chargeable for many terror assaults in India.

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