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Pakistan seeks UK’s help to get off FATF grey list

Pakistan on Saturday sough the support of United Kingdom to get off Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list. “Government and relevant agencies of Pakistan have taken numerous steps to counter terrorism as well as terror financing. Therefore, friendly countries like the UK should play their due role in removing Pakistan’s name from the grey list of the FATF,” National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser told British High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Christian Turner during a meeting at Parliament House.

The British high commissioner informed the speaker regarding new travel advisory on Pakistan whereby the country has been declared as a family station for the British diplomats and citizens. He added that the travel advisory was upgraded in wake of the improved security situation in the country.

The speaker lauded the decision and said that the armed forces as well as the citizens of Pakistan have paid a heavy price for attaining peace and security in the country. “The world should recognize the sacrifices Pakistan has rendered during the war on terror,” he said, adding that Pakistan has relaxed its visa regime for attracting tourists from across the globe and a visa portal has also been established for issuance of online visas to the international tourists.

The speaker said that the United Kingdom should relax its visa regime for the Pakistani nationals. The visa center for Pakistan which is currently based in the United Arab Emirates should be moved to Pakistan. He further said that presently the visa fee is too high and thus there is a need to reconsider it.

Referring to the Brexit, the speaker said that it is a challenge for the British government as well as an opportunity at the same time for enhancing trade and commercial ties with the friendly countries like Pakistan. He proposed that the relevant committees in the two parliaments dealing with commerce and trade may collaborate with each other for devising mutually beneficial strategies for promoting trade and commerce between the two countries.

Seizing the opportunity, the speaker also highlighted the Indian atrocities in occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir and stated that the world has seen the cruel face of India and the growing fascism in the so-called largest democracy of the world. Under the slogan of Hindutva, the Indian leadership is spreading hatred among its public and resultantly the minorities particularly Muslims in India are threatened, he said.

The British high commissioner thanked the speaker for the audience and reassured that the matters discussed during the meeting will be taken up with the relevant authorities in the United Kingdom.

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