Pakistan gets reprieve on FATF watchlist, says Asif

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"No consensus for nominating Pakistan", the minister said.

Khawaja Asif, who is now on a visit to Russian Federation, tweeted late on Tuesday that Pakistan's "efforts have paid (off)" during a February 20 meeting on the US-led motion, suggesting there was "no consensus for nominating Pakistan".

"But we are alarmed because unfortunately, USA military and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation coalition in Afghanistan try to silence or deny these facts to give an impression that it [IS] is not a serious threat", noted Lavrov. This is increasing the risk of the "terrorists' penetration" into Central Asia and Russian Federation.

Lavrov stressed the need to step up efforts to prevent this scenario.

He was referring to the Trump administration's accusations the Taliban and its allies are waging insurgency in Afghanistan from their sanctuaries in Pakistan and with covert support of its military.

The Declaration on the Establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was inked in China's Shanghai in June 2001 by six founding states - Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. "The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, where Pakistan and India have full-fledged membership, is represented by all key neighbors of Afghanistan and Afghanistan is taking part as an observer at the SCO", he said.

Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia now enjoy observer status while Sri Lanka, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners.

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Asif is visiting Russia at the invitation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Office said.

On Pakistan and Afghanistan relations, he said: "Our brotherly neighbor Afghanistan is in a painful situation".

"Our efforts paid, FATF Paris 20 Feb meeting conclusion on USA led motion to put Pakistan on watch list - No consensus for nominating Pakistan", Pakistan's foreign minister Khwaja Asif tweeted on Tuesday evening, based on which Pakistani media reported that the United States bid to put Pakistan on terror financing watch-list "falls through".

Lavrov and Asif also pledged to work closely to promote a peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, alleging the US -led military mission has failed to secure the country.

"Increasing presence of Daesh and locating its camps close to borders of Pakistan and central Asian republics is a cause for common concern". The presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan has achieved nothing over the last seventeen years. We have rejected these baseless allegations.

IS and the Taliban have staged several attacks in Afghanistan in recent weeks, including one on a luxury hotel in Kabul on January 20.

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