LAHORE: Giving his government credit for winning the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) approval, former federal minister Hammad Azhar claimed that the PTI-led previous regime had completed all the 34 action items of the watchdog.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore shortly after Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar held a media briefing to discuss the FATF's latest verdict, Hammad Azhar said that last year Pakistan managed to complete the implementation of 32 items out of the 34-point FATF action plan and a report on the remaining two was submitted in April.
It bears mentioning that former PM Imran Khan-led government was toppled down via a vote of no confidence on April 11.
"[I am happy] we have completed all 34 items of the FATF action plan," he said, adding that a "difficult" phase had now come to an end.
Azhar said that the "best work" had been done by Pakistan.
"The PTI government passed dozens of laws related to FATF. Financial systems were upgraded, officers trained," he said.
Hammad Azhar said that India's role, whenever the FATF reviewed Pakistan's progress in combating terrorism and curbing money laundering, has historically been negative and this is something the previous PTI government highlighted multiple times.
"It was clear that India was trying to use this platform for political purposes," said Azhar.
"When came into power, there was a lot of fear that Pakistan would be blacklisted," he added.
He said the PTI government formed a FATF Coordination Committee which included all the relevant state institutions. "Officers of the committee worked day and night," he added.
The minister said that remittances rose in the last three-and-a-half years as work on reforms began.
"The real heroes are the officers who are sitting in different departments," Azhar said, adding that they "performed continuously" for three and a half years.
According to the minister, the PTI exposed the Indian team in this period.
"This is a technical forum, not a political forum. An attempt was made to make it political," said Azhar.
"We found a lot of benami accounts. This is a victory for the whole of Pakistan," he said.
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