Ahead of the crucial Financial Action Task Force Meeting in Paris, Pakistan launches a charm offensive against Saudi Arabia reminding it of its 'historic' friendship with the country. The meeting in Paris is reportedly very important as it would decide whether Pakistan has shown signs of sincerity with regards to curbing terrorism. Before the formal discussion, Pakistan launched a series of tweets reminding several countries of its commitment to 'peace and security'.
Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Firdous Ashiq Awan, took to Twitter to claim that the country wants to promote 'brotherhood'. She said,
“Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran are the three most important brothers in the Islamic world. Pakistan has historic and fraternal relations with its two brothers.”
Saudi Arabia is one of the members of the FATF and in its capacity to vote, it holds a valid position to influence the outcome. In other words, Pakistan would need the support of countries to avoid being blacklisted hence it is has resorted to calculated campaign. Currently placed on 'grey list' Pakistan hopes to get relief as a lack seriousness, if found, might cause huge economic loss. The PM's adviser sought to gain attention of the “Islamic World” and asserted that the country stands for “reconciliation”.
“Pakistan seeks to promote sentiments of brotherhood and reconciliation among the brotherly countries. The Muslim Ummah cannot tolerate mutual tension; at the leadership level this feeling is a reflection of goodwill and public sentiment for the Islamic world,” she said.
In addition she also attempted to highlight how leaders from other countries have appreciated Pakistan's sincerity over peace and stability- a phrase that is going to be heard more than any other thing at the FATF meeting. She added,
“President Hassan Rouhani welcomes Pakistan's sincere efforts for peace in the region, demonstrating the confidence of the leadership of the two brotherly countries and the closeness of the relationship”.
A delegation led by Pakistan's Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar is in Paris to attend the FATF meeting along with the representatives of Federal Board of Revenue, Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan and Federal Investigation Agency. This meeting will discuss the steps taken by Pakistan against money laundering and terror financing. It will review the efforts made by the Imran Khan government until May 2019. Previously the country was put on grey list because of its “strategic deficiencies” in pulling stops on terror finance. If the country is found to have not taken steps towards complying with the FATF recommendations then it might be blacklisted.