ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal on Thursday said that foreign investment in Pakistan will suffer if the country is put on a global terrorist-financing watch-list.
The minister further said that the United States (US) is forcing other countries to join the motion, adding that foreign investors will be reluctant to spend money in the country if this happens, he added.
The Indian government is being blamed for pushing the US to continue with the motion.
The United States has put forward a motion to place Pakistan on a global terrorist-financing watch-list with an anti-money laundering monitoring group, according to a senior Pakistani official.
Pakistan has been scrambling in recent months to avert being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant with terrorist financing regulations by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), measure officials fear could hurt its economy.
The United States has been threatening to get tough with Islamabad over its alleged ties with militants, and last month President Donald Trump’s administration suspended aid worth about $2 billion.
Islamabad denies assisting militants in Afghanistan and India. A meeting of FATF member states is due to take place next week in Paris, where the organisation could adopt the motion on Pakistan.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Miftah Ismail, told Reuters the United States and Britain put forward the motion several weeks ago, and later persuaded France and Germany to co-sponsor it.
“We are now working with the US, UK, Germany and France for the nomination to be withdrawn,” Ismail said, speaking by telephone from Europe. “We are also quite hopeful that even if the US did not withdraw the nomination that we will prevail and not be put on the watch-list.”