Pakistan thanks Turkey for support on terror watchlist

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The reports followed after Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said on Tuesday that Pakistan was given a three-month period to address concerns of the FATF.

Foreign office spokesman Muhammad Faisal expressed serious concern over the USA and United Kingdom motion, saying that most US concerns over deficiencies in curbing money laundering and terror financing had already been addressed in 2015.

The US spearheaded the latest efforts to place Pakistan on the Grey List and was supported by the UK, France and Germany.

Feeling relieved by the decision, Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Khawaja Asif tweeted: Our efforts paid, FATF Paris 20 Feb meeting conclusion on USA led motion to put Pakistan on watch list -No consensus for nominating Pakistan -proposing 3months pause &asking APG for another report to b considered in June الحمداللہ.

In addition, a former high-level Pakistani official, speaking on the condition of anonymity so as not to jeopardise relationships with current negotiators for the government, said that members of the task force had chose to place Pakistan on the list as of June. Pakistan was on the list from 2012 to 2015.

FATF, in a plenary session in Paris, passed a US-backed resolution to "grey list" Pakistan, several Indian and Pakistani sources confirmed.

The action of the G-7 sponsored Financial Action Task Force (FATF)'s just-concluded plenary in Paris of putting Pakistan on the grey list, submitting it to intense scrutiny on terror financing is a shot in the arm for India, which has been facing the brunt of Pakistani financing of terror in Kashmir.

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In a message posted on Twitter, Pakistan interior minister Ahsan Iqbal said that there was no official intimation of FATF decision yet and "we should not speculate till official statement is released". However, in the final voting round, only Turkey supported Pakistan.

Earlier, Pakistan had lobbied for support in western capitals and even turned to Russian Federation to prevent its inclusion in the grey list, from which it was removed in 2015 after three years.

Foreign office spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal responded, saying "Pakistan has serious concerns over and objections to the introduction of this new nomination procedure which is unprecedented and in clear violation of established rules/practices of FATF".

Pakistan on Friday escaped from being placed on the watch-list of countries that have failed to combat terror financing and counter money laundering, state-run Pakistan Television reported.

The terrorism task force discourages banks and global investors from lending money to a country put on its grey list. Wells said she could not confirm any decision to put Pakistan back on the watch list.

These groups are on the list of organizations sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council. If Pakistan is added to the list, doing business, there could become hard. "We have categorically conveyed to the U.S. that this relationship can move forward only in an environment of mutual trust and respect", the spokesman at the Foreign Office told the weekly media briefing.

Nonetheless, on Thursday, ahead of the FATF's outcomes, White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah had expressed the Trump administration's displeasure over the efforts so far made by Pakistan.

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