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2 May, 2019 12:06

India seeks ‘downgrading’ of Pakistan on international terrorism financing list – minister

India seeks ‘downgrading’ of Pakistan on international terrorism financing list – minister

New Delhi is set to ask the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international body designed to tackle money laundering and terrorism financing, to downgrade Islamabad on its list.

The meeting of the commission is scheduled for mid-May. “We would want that the FATF for Pakistan should be downgraded,” India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, as cited by Reuters.

In February, the watchdog commended the country’s efforts in combating money laundering and financing of terrorism, yet was negatively critical of the overall pace of the changes. The FATF urged Islamabad to “swiftly complete its action plan, particularly those with timelines of May 2019.”

Any potential sinking of Pakistan’s standing with the FATF might have grave consequences for the economically-embattled country, as it would scare off foreign investors.

Jaitley’s statement came a day after the UN sanctions committee added the leader of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant group, Masood Azhar, to its terrorist list. The JeM issue has been on hold for a while, since China was reviewing Azhar’s case, yet eventually stated it had no objections to such a designation.

New Delhi sought to brand Azhar a terrorist since 2016, and rejoiced over the UN decision. Jaitley lauded the move as well, praising wise foreign policies of PM Narendra Modi.

“India stands vindicated. Masood Azhar is now a global terrorist. India is in safe hands. This marks a high point for the Prime Minister’s foreign policy,” Jaitley tweeted.

Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group is largely responsible for the recent flare-up between India and Pakistan. It was behind a February bomb attack that claimed lives of 44 paramilitary police in the India-controlled part of the disputed Kashmir region.

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