India could do some bad thing during Erdogan, UN chief visits

FO hopes Pakistan will get off FATF grey list ‘soon’

India could do some bad thing during Erdogan, UN chief visits

Pakistan Thursday expressed fears India may carry out an irresponsible action during the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui in her weekly press briefing said Pakistan would respond effectively to any negative actions taken by the Indian government.

She stated that Turkey supports Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir and Turkish president’s visit would improve the existing ties between the two countries.

Aisha also shared that the UN chief will visit Lahore and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur on his trip to Pakistan.

Air defence system sale to India

The spokesperson expressed concern over Washington’s approval of the sale of an air defence system to New Delhi. She said that South Asia cannot afford a further arms race in the region.

The Trump administration has approved the sale of an Integrated Air Defense Weapon System for $1.8 billion to New Delhi. The sale was being processed under the Foreign Military Sales and awaits the approval from US Congress, according to the Indian media reports.

The State Department had said it had informed Congress that New Delhi plans to use the “defence articles and services to modernize its armed forces, and to expand its existing air defence architecture to counter threats posed by air attack”.

FATF grey list

The plenary session of Financial Action Task Force will begin in Paris on February 16 wherein the global anti-money laundering agency would decide whether to remove Pakistan from its grey list or downgrade it to the blacklist.

In a statement issued from Islamabad, FO spokesperson Aisha Faroouqi said the country would get off the grey list ‘very soon’.

The statement comes only a day after a court convicted the chief of now-defunct Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Hafiz Saeed and one of his top associates in two money laundering cases.

The decision of the Lahore anti-terrorism court has been hailed by the United States, which has declared Saeed a global terrorist for his alleged role in Mumbai Attack.

Pakistan was placed on the FATF’s grey list in June 2018 after FATF found deficiencies in the country’s legal framework to counter-terrorism financing.

Since then, Islamabad has been struggling to plug the loopholes in its financial system to satisfy the tough criteria of the 37-member global watchdog.

Pakistan was cleared this year of 14 of the 27 FATF points at the Asia Pacific Group meeting held in Beijing on January 21 to 23.

The US, which led the move to place Pakistan on the grey list, reportedly supported the country in Beijing session for the measures Islamabad has already taken.

Kashmir

The FO spokesperson also said in her statement that the whole world acknowledged the sacrifices made by the Kashmiri people for the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination.

She appreciated the indomitable resilience of Kashmiri people in withstanding the new wave of Indian atrocities following India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019.

Aisha condemned the gross human rights violations perpetrated by Indian occupation forces in complete disregard of international human rights laws.

The spokesperson said that India’s continued belligerence and aggressive measures posed a serious threat to regional peace and security.

She reiterated that India must immediately end the continuing lockdown, communications blockade and media blackout in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and release the incarcerated Kashmiri leadership and innocent Kashmiri youth, many of whom were held at undisclosed locations away from their families.

She underscored that the only solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute was in the full implementation of the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

The spokesperson stressed that solution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people was imperative and association of the Kashmiris in this process of advancing the resolution was indispensable.

She underscored that a just and lasting solution to the Kashmir dispute was also essential for durable peace and stability in South Asia.