Strongly urge Pakistan to work with FATF, ready to provide support: Alice Wells

Posted In: News Date:Jan 25th, 2020

Ambassador Alice Wells on Friday said Washington "strongly urges" Islamabad to implement its Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action plan and stressed that the requirements spelt out in the action plan have to be fulfilled.

She made the remarks during a briefing at the US Department of State on her recent trip to Pakistan.

"[...] It’s not a political process, but we certainly support and stand ready to assist Pakistan as it implements these obligations," she said in response to a question asking if the US would respond to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi's request for intervention in getting Pakistan out of the grey list.

Responding to the same question, Amb Wells noted: "[...] FATF is a technical process. There has been an action plan that was presented to Pakistan. It’s a question of fulfilling the requirements that have been spelt out and that are asked of all countries in the international system."

"I welcomed efforts by Pakistan to meet its counterterrorism financing obligations under FATF [...] We strongly encourage Pakistan to work with FATF and the international community to fully satisfy its action plan commitments.

"Completion of the FATF action plan is critical to Pakistan’s economic reform efforts, including its IMF [International Monetary Fund] program, as well as for demonstrating sustained and irreversible action against all militant groups based in Pakistan without distinction," she said.

Asked if IMF funding could get affected if Pakistan did not meet FATF regulations, Ambassador Wells responded saying if Pakistan did not meet its FATF obligations or if it is blacklisted, "that would be devastating for Pakistan’s economic reform program and for its ability to attract investors."

However, she added that Washington is, "pleased to see progress by Pakistan towards fulfilling FATF obligations".

"There is a meeting underway currently in Beijing where Pakistan is presenting its actions to the task force. And so I defer to that task force to make its evaluation. But the more evidence of Pakistan’s seriousness in both documenting its economy and in shrinking the space for militants to be able to take advantage of Pakistan’s either banking system or territory, the more confidence that the international community and business community will have in working with Pakistan," she said.