Wednesday September 27, 2023

Countries having position in FATF not our friends: Shaukat Tarin

By Mehtab Haider & News Desk
February 12, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin said that Pakistan had fulfilled 27 out of 28 conditions put forward by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) but the countries having position in the FATF are not our friends.

Responding to a supplementary question in the Senate, he said, "We have achieved our targets, hoping that the country would come out of the grey list in the next FATF review." He disclosed the details of the agreement under which Pakistan had received funds worth $3 billion from Saudi Arabia, according to a written statement issued by the Senate Secretariat.

A much-awaited $3 billion tranche had been deposited in the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on December 4, 2021, under an agreement signed between the central bank of Pakistan and the Saudi Fund for Development.

The details were shared in response to a query, made in the Senate session held on January 25, which along with a few other questions had been deferred. The House was informed that Pakistan will start utilising the Saudi oil facility on deferred payment by the next month.

"We have tried keeping the entire burden of international petroleum price hike from falling on the people," Tarin said during the question hour. Meanwhile, Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that there were no reasons for keeping Pakistan on the grey list under the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), keeping in view the compliance rate on placed conditions.

However, he cautioned that political reasons might block the way for Islamabad's endeavours for achieving exclusion from the FATF's grey list. "We have complied on all major conditions of the FATF and on technical grounds there are no reasons for keeping Pakistan continuously on the grey list. There might be only political considerations for keeping Pakistan on the grey list," Qureshi said when The News sought his comments on FATF-related developments after attending the Orange Festival arranged in honour of diplomatic corps here at the Zaildar House, Taxila, on Friday.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, on the occasion, that Pakistan had complied with 26 conditions out of 27 and was also making progress on the second action list for coming out from the grey list under the FATF framework. "Our case is strong on technical and compliance fronts but if there are political considerations, nothing can be stated with firm authority," he added.

To another query about reviving the IMF programme, he said that the government had implemented the toughest conditions for reviving the IMF programme. Although conditions from the Fund were tough, the government had implemented them, he added.

Earlier, in his address, as well as in his talk with journalists on the occasion of the Orange Festival, the foreign minister said that Pakistan wanted having cordial relations with all countries without joining any specific camp.

He said that Pakistan’s relations with China had further strengthened in the aftermath of the recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan. He said that Pakistan wanted good relations with the US as well. "Pakistan and Russia relations are also witnessing new directions," he added.

The minister regretted that the Hindutva mindset of the Indian regime was posing a serious threat to regional peace and security. He said people within India were also now raising voices against the flawed policies and extremist mindset of the Modi regime.

A brave Muslim girl, who stood firm before a mob of Hindu far-right goons, had become a symbol of resistance against extremism in India. He said the Iranian interior minister's upcoming visit to Pakistan would help strengthen bilateral relations between brotherly Muslim countries.