Speaking to journalists, Ahsan warned that Pakistan is facing conspiracies and the country’s enemies were working overtime to spread anarchy. He added that it would not be considered being a friend of the country if an institution or person moved it towards anarchy.
The interior minister mentioned the threat Pakistan had received from a neighbouring country of a surgical strike, adding that internally the country was also facing similar threats. “We need to be united. Our neighbouring country is threatening with surgical strikes and we will face this threat. But there are also surgical strikes being carried out on political stability in the country. There is no room for this. Why are we becoming our own enemy?”
When asked about the Senate elections, Iqbal responded that steps being taken were creating the impression that the process of target killing is underway in politics. According to the interior minister, the Pakistani voter was no longer comparable to a primary school student, rather someone who has received a PhD in politics. “They [Pakistanis] are well informed and analyse everything. This is the reason that the PML-N despite steps being taken against us is not experiencing any political backlash, rather political support is increasing.”
Iqbal stressed on the supremacy of Parliament calling it the most important institution in the country which gives birth to the constitution and other institutions. “Parliament decides how many judges will be in the Supreme Court or what the pension of a Supreme Court judge will be… It also decides on the criteria and who will be the prime minister.”
“Parliament is the representative of the people of Pakistan,” he added
‘FATF decision will come in June’
Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that a decision of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to place Pakistan on the grey-list of the global money laundering watchdog will be made in June.
“The resolution against us was on political grounds to pressurise Pakistan. We were on this watch list till 2015 and despite this, we grew the country’s economy. It is wrong to speculate that this will have dire economic consequences on the country.”
Iqbal emphasised that Pakistan had made the most efforts to combat terrorism. “We are taking steps not to please the US but four our own benefit. We will follow our own agenda to achieve national goals.”
Pakistan was not added to the FATF grey-list after the conclusion of the task force’s plenary session in Paris on Friday. The list called ‘jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies’, available on FATF’s website, includes the names of Ethiopia, Iraq, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu, and Yemen. It excluded Pakistan’s name.
Manager communications FATF Alexandra Wijmenga-Daniel said the list was “final”.
When asked about reports circulating in international media claiming Pakistan had been added to the grey-list, she said FATF was not responsible for reports in the media.
Prime Minister’s adviser on finance Miftah Ismail has alleged that Pakistan was made a “target of politics” at the FATF meeting.
In an interview to a private TV channel, Ismail said Pakistan was made a “target of politics” despite the country’s tangible efforts to crack down on money laundering and terror financing.