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March 23, 2020

FATF chief urged to remove Pakistan from grey list

Peshawar

March 23, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Interior Chairman, Senator Rehman Malik, wrote a letter to the President, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Marshall Billingslea, pleading him to remove the name of Pakistan from FATF’s Grey List in wake of coronavirus outbreak to enable the country to exercise our full potential against the pandemic.

A copy of the letter was also sent to US President Donald Trump with the request to withdraw the complaint against Pakistan in FATF, in view of the above coronavirus disaster.

In his letter, Senator Rehman Malik writes: “I write to express our complete solidarity with the community of nations, in the war against COVID-19 pandemic that is inflicting the globe and has also not spared your country.’’

Referring to the earlier correspondence, he writes that he had earlier sent a letter to the FATF President to solicit actions against India for financing and money-laundering, besides harbouring International fugitives accused of serious crimes and money laundering, vide his letter of 25-Jan-2020. “Sadly, no action was taken, which has accentuated the conditions for Pakistan, who had been, instead, discriminately, accused of similar allegations, and placed on FATF’s Grey List. This unilateral action has not only caused immeasurable sufferings for the people of Pakistan but has also lent a severe blow to its economy,’’ Senator Rehman Malik expressed.

He expresses that much water has flown under the bridges as the world is now slipping into force majeure situation as it confronts the COVID-19 pandemic.

He writes: with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing human tragedies, closure of production units, damage to the social fabric, and severe strains on the global supply chains, the threats to Pakistan’s economy have increased manifold.’’

He said that the unmitigated spread of COVID-19, due to lack of sufficient resources driven by financial restrains, is a regional mega-human tragedy in waiting. “The ongoing pandemic is pushing all states towards rapidly escalating economic regression, threatening the human security and brewing severe socio-economic imbalances that are ripening to trigger massive migration issues in the region,’’ his letter read.

He noted that as the situation in Pakistan inches towards a complete closedown, the economic clampdowns in form of FATF placements could have harrowing results, beyond the control of any state or states.

Senator Rehman Malik concludes his letter: I, therefore, solicit your review of the circumstances, particularly in the light of COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing humanitarian concerns, to remove the name of Pakistan from the FATF’s Grey List, enabling us to exercise our full potential in collaborating in the global fight against the pandemic.’’