Asian Lite obtains documents revealing an unelected British Parliamentarian trying to influence British government to change its stance on money laundering and terror funding terms in favour of Pakistan…..reports Kaliph Anaz
Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham wrote to Boris Johnson, then Foreign Secretary, on 16th February 2018, seeking his help to remove Pakistan from the Grey List of FATF. The move is to help Pakistan to evade from the strict actions of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global watchdog for terror-financing and money laundering.
The Lord accused the British government of following a flawed foreign policy and it will have impact on historic relations with Pakistan and tip the delicate balance in South Asia.
The FATF’s Asia-Pacific Group (APG) placed Pakistan on the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (Blacklist) following its failure to meet its compliance parameters. The APG found Pakistan “not doing enough to stop terror funding” in the country.
At its recent meeting in Canberra, Australia, the APG found Pakistan to be non-compliant on 32 of the 40 compliance parameters related to terror financing and money laundering, officials said. On 11 effectiveness parameters, it was adjudged as low as 10. Security experts feel the blacklisting might only be the first step towards Pakistan getting the stick from larger international agencies.
The Lord also accused the FATF action is political and not on Pakistan’s failure to comply the terms of money laundering and terror financing
Lord Nazir, who is on bail in a sexual attack case, is facing the trial on Dec. 2 at Shefffield court and he is denying the charges, urged the British government to change its policy to support Pakistan.
“It is the tradition of British government to base our foreign policy on principles rather purely on politics. As a member of the House of Lords, I feel that it is my duty to point out fundamental flaws in the foreign policy in Great Britain, which will have implications on our historic relations with Pakistan. Our taking may also have the impact of tipping the delicate balance between India and Pakistan in South Asia. I am writing to ask Her Majesty’s government to reconsider its position at the ICRG/FATF.”
International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG) oversees the process of FATF.
The Lord in his letter addresses to “Boris” justifies the action taken by Pakistan to clear its name and claims the FATF action could be disastrous for Pakistan’s economy. But the APG accused of Pakistan of “not doing enough to stop terror funding” in the country.”
“I am aware that Pakistan has taken a number of actions demonstrating its commitment to address issues of concern of FATF,” the Lord said in the letter to Boris Johnson in his official letter-pad.
The Lord also accused the FATF action is political and not on Pakistan’s failure to comply the terms of money laundering and terror financing.
“The FATF is meant to be a technical forum to assist countries improving their AML/CFT (anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism) frame works and should not be used for political objectives,” the Lord wrote in the letter.
Imran forms FATF Team
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has set up a high-powered 12-member National Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Coordination Committee to ensure execution of all FATF-related tasks till December 1.
The move comes after the Asia-Pacific Group, a regional affiliate of the FATF, on August 23 place Pakistan under its enhanced monitoring mechanism after it failed to comply with 11 recommendations out of 40. Islamabad will now have to submit a new report to the APG on the implementation of its recommendations by February 1, 2020.
“The committee is mandated to steer the national effort on FATF,” said a notification issued by the Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday.
Led by Minister for Economic Affairs Division Hammad Azhar, the Committee comprises federal secretaries of finance, foreign affairs and interior besides heads of all the institutions and regulators concerned with money laundering and terror financing, Dawn news said in its report.
They include the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Director General (dg) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), member (customs) of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and DG of the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU).
The committee also has three senior officials from the military’s General Headquarters (GHQ).
Pakistan is currently being monitored at three different but interlinked levels – APG, the US and the FATF – that would determine the country’s possible exit from the FATF grey list.
Given significant progress on its 10-point action plan on 27 different standards, authorities expect to secure a couple of months of grace period to be fully compliant when the country comes under final review of the FATF by mid-October, Dawn news reported.
Last week, the National Counter Terrorism Authority declared two more outfits – Hizbul Ahrar and Balochistan Raaji Ajoi Sangar (BRAS) – as proscribed organisations, putting their members and activities under surveillance. Seventy-one organisations are already on the list.