Foreign Office said Friday that Pakistan has faithfully complied with the Financial Action Task Force’s action plan by completing all its technical requirements and that the world body will take decisions in accordance with the technical standards.
Speaking at his weekly media briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said there are issues of politicisation in the FATF by some countries, wherein, technical requirements are set aside and political considerations take the forefront.
He said that Pakistan is a responsible state and it refrains from making comments on the media with regard to the FATF’s proceedings. However, he added that Pakistan is a strong and important country and it knows how to defend its interests.
The Foreign Office spokesperson’s remarks come ahead of the FATF next review of the country’s progress in curbing terror-financing and money laundering when the plenary begins on February 21, 2022 in Paris, France.
Responding to a question about the recent wave of terrorism in the country, Asim Iftikhar said that Pakistan has faced and confronted the menace of terrorism with a lot of courage and success.
He said India has a track record of supporting terrorism in Pakistan. He further stated that India was also engaged in negative propaganda against China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“We are aware of the threat and we will take all necessary steps to halt it,” he said, adding that Pakistan is in contact with the interim Afghan government with regard to the cross-border terrorism.
He further said Pakistan also raised the matter with Iran during the recent visit of the Iranian interior minister to the country.
About the 2007 Samjhauta Express terrorist attack in which 68 people, mostly Pakistani were killed, he said, the Friday marks the 15th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attack on the Samjhauta Express that claimed the lives of 68 innocent passengers including 44 Pakistani nationals.
He said that the Indian charge d’affaires in Islamabad was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was conveyed Pakistan’s severe disappointment at Indian Government’s callousness towards the plight of the families of the Pakistani nationals who await justice even after the passage of 15 years.
He said that the Indian diplomat was further conveyed our alarm that the Hindutva extremism and “Saffron terror” that had motivated the inhuman attack 15 years ago has intensified manifolds under the current regime in India.
He said that the Indian charge d’affaires was asked to convey to the government of India in the strongest terms, Pakistan’s condemnation of the shameless acquittal and exoneration of all accused in dastardly terrorist attack, including Swami Aseemanand, an RSS activist, who publicly confessed of being the mastermind of the heinous attack.
“This was just another manifestation of the brazen impunity and full state protection that perpetrators of terrorism enjoy in the BJP-ruled India,” he added.
He said that the charge d’affaires was also asked to convey to Indian government, Pakistan’s demand for a fair trial and for bringing the perpetrators and abettors of Samjhauta Express terrorist attack to justice. The families of the innocent Pakistani nationals, mercilessly killed at the hands of the Hindutva-motivated extremists deserve closure, he added.
The story was originally published in Business Recorder on January 19, 2022.