ISLAMABAD            -            Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator Rehman Malik Saturday wrote a letter to Marshall Billingslea, President Financial Action Task Force (FATF), pleading him to remove the name of Pakistan from global anti-money laundering watchdog’s Grey List in wake of coronavirus outbreak.

He, in the letter, urged that it was necessary to enable the country to exercise its full potential against the pandemic. A copy of the letter was also sent to US President Donald Trump with the request to withdraw the complaint against Pakistan in FATF, in view of the coronavirus disaster, said a statement issued by the office of Pakistan People’s Party Senator Rehman Malik.

“I write to express our complete solidarity with the committee of nations, in the war against COVID-19 pandemic that is inflicting the globe and has also not spared your country,’’ reads the letter.

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Referring to his earlier correspondence, he said that a letter had been written to President FATF to “solicit actions against India for financing and money-laundering, besides harbouring international fugitives accused of serious crimes and money laundering.” He said that it was regretful that “no action was taken, which has accentuated the conditions for Pakistan, who had been, instead, discriminately, accused of similar allegations, and placed on FATF’s Grey List.”  This unilateral action has not only caused immeasurable sufferings for the people of Pakistan but has also lent a severe blow to its economy, said Senator Malik.

PPP lawmaker further said that with the out-break of the COVID-19, and ensuing human tragedies, closure of production units, damage to the social fabric, and severe strains on the global supply chains, the threats to Pakistan’s economy has increased manifold. He added that the unmitigated spread of virus due to lack of sufficient resources driven by financial restrains, is a regional mega-human tragedy in waiting.

 “The ongoing pandemic is pushing all states towards rapidly escalating economic regression, threatening the human security and brewing severe socio-economic imbalances that are ripening to trigger massive migration issues in the region,” reads the letter.

 He noted that as the situation in Pakistan inches towards a complete closedown, the economic clamp-downs in form of FATF placements could have harrowing results, beyond the control of any state or states.