Ahead of key FATF plenary meeting, Pak PM arrives in China

Beijing: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday morning arrived in China for a three-day visit, a week ahead of crucial Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary meeting.

Upon his arrival in Beijing, the prime minister was received by Minister for Culture, Luo Shugang, Ambassador of China to Pakistan Yao Jing and Ambassador of Pakistan to China Naghmana Hashmi, Pakistan state-media PTV reported.

During his trip, he will discuss issues of regional and bilateral significance, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Kashmir, said an official statement.

The prime minister will hold separate meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

Pakistan premier comes ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s tour of Nepal and India, Radio Pakistan reported.

His visit comes ahead of FATF meeting in Paris from October 13 to 18 where Pakistan’s compliance with the 40 point action plan will be assessed, Islamabad has been engaged in hectic lobbying in a last-ditch bid to influence the outcome in its favour. This year, Pakistan all-weather ally China holds the presidency of the FATF.

It is highly anticipated that Islamabad will ask Beijing to stridently back it at the plenary meeting to prevent it from blacklisting.

FATF had placed Pakistan on its Gray List in June 2018, giving it a 15-month action plan to complete implementation of a 27-point action plan, failing which the country could be placed in the Black List.

In August 2019, a subsidiary body of FATF, the Asia Pacific Group placed Pakistan in the Enhanced Follow Up List for failure to meet its standards. On 40 compliance parameters, Pakistan was non-compliant on 30. On 11 effectiveness parameters, Pakistan was adjudged as Low on 10.

Pakistan has been under the FATF radar for its complicity towards terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Haqqani Network, among others. In addition, proscribed terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Azhar Masood are either regularly seen seeking donations and volunteers for armed rebellions in India, or making calls for jihad in Kashmir from the inner recesses of GHQ Rawalpindi.

It will be the third visit of Khan to China within a year.
He will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed, Minister for Planning Khusro Bakhtiar and Finance Adviser Hafeez Sheikh.

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