Terming the fight against terrorism and money laundering as its top priorities, the European Union has urged Pakistan to follow the steps outlined by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The EU remarks come days after the UN-affiliated watchdog announced retaining Pakistan on its ”grey list” as it failed to investigate and prosecute the senior leaders of United Nations-designated terror groups.
FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer had said Pakistan will remain on the grey list till it addresses all items on the original action plan agreed to in June 2018 as well as all items on a parallel action plan handed out by the watchdog’s regional partner – the Asia Pacific Group (APG) – in 2019.
Daniel Ferrie, a spokesperson for the European Commission, said financing terrorism and preventing money laundering were the EU’s top priorities, Geo News reported.
Reacting to Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s statement bemoaning the FATF’s decision, the spokesperson said Pakistan should not issue rhetorical statements against international institutions.
He said the statements are “not only counterproductive but also harmful to Pakistan’s interest”.
“You may have noticed that many of the steps we have taken in recent years are important not only for the European Union but also for the world,” he said, adding that they are working with international partners for this purpose within the FATF framework.
Deploring FATF’s decision to retain Pakistan on its grey list, the country’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday said that if it was a technical decision then the country would have been added to the white list.
“Now FATF members and the world have to decide if it is a technical or a politically motivated forum,” Qureshi said while addressing media in Multan, as quoted by Ary news.
Last week, Pakistan was retained on the FATF’s ”grey list” for failing to effectively implement the global FATF standards and over its lack of progress on investigation and prosecution of senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terror groups.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)