The director general (DG) of India’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is the co-chair of the Asia Pacific Group’s (APG) delegation that will be visiting Pakistan on March 24. Pakistan has strongly objected to the Indian co-chair of the APG. The reasons for Pakistan’s objection are obvious. The Finance Minister of Pakistan Asad Umar in his letter to the president of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Marshall Billingslea has relied on the general principles of law. Pakistan has correctly pointed out that APG co-chair cannot be biased.

How can APG ensure fairness, unbiasness and objectivity in its assessment of Pakistan’s compliance with international standards on terror financing while appointing FIU’s DG as co-chair of APG’s delegation? FATF being a body whose reports can affect a country’s economy badly should have thought twice before selecting an Indian as co-chair of APG delegation. India is in conflict with Pakistan from the very first day. And it has never missed an opportunity to harm Pakistan’s interests.

If the reports of Pakistan’s friendly countries are accepted, then APF has already concluded to blacklist Pakistan. What is the point of visiting Pakistan then? Just to create a smokescreen for its violation of general principles of law. Additionally, FATF needs to consider Mr Umar’s remarks that Pakistan has taken unusual steps for showing compliance with the recommendations of the anti-graft body.

Furthermore, the letter has also urged the body to review Pakistan should be based on facts not lobbying. The objectivity of the international anti-graft institution is already in question. However, it can regain its neutrality by removing India from the delegation and appointing any other state to co-chair the visit of the APG to Islamabad.

India is fighting a hybrid war against Pakistan without any doubt. New Delhi wants to exhaust each and every opportunity to undermine Pakistan’s efforts of showing compliance with the recommendations of the anti-graft organisation. The world already knows this, and it became crystal clear during the ICRG meeting last month where India called for the blacklisting of Pakistan. Despite the unjust move that violates the principles of natural law, Pakistan has made the right move not to boycott the process of FATF.

India as the co-chair of the APG delegation will harm the entire exercise that FATF and Pakistan have been engaging in for quite some time. Islamabad’s wariness in this regard is not unjustified. FATF needs to consider Pakistan’s plea to remove India from APG’s delegation for the sake of keeping its process fair, unbiased and objective.