Malaysia keeps Pakistan off money-laundering blacklist

Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, said thanks in a six-minute telephone call to Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

LONDON: Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, telephoned Dr Mahathir Mohamad today to thank Malaysia for helping Pakistan to avoid being blacklisted by the worldwide Financial Action Task Force against terrorism-linked money laundering.

Mahathir, who is on a three-day working visit to Britain, took the six-minute call at the Malaysian High Commission.

India had tabled a motion with the task force to blacklist Pakistan. However Pakistan obtained the necessary minimum of three votes of support – from China, Turkey and Malaysia – to stay off the blacklist, said Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.

Mahathir told Malaysian reporters that Pakistan had upped its war against money laundering. “We decided based on the rule of law. Not due to animosity. We admit that money laundering is a major problem and it is happening because of the borderless world that allows free flow of capital,” he said

He said there was no point in blacklisting any particular nation. The free flow of capital had also affected countries, including Malaysia, where capitalists have invested huge amounts of money in the share markets pushing up share prices.

“At the end of the day they sell their shares for a profit and take back their capital and their earnings at the expense of the countries they invested in,” he said.

Mahathir also touched on the irony of trade wars, where the world, on one hand, promotes trade and at the other end imposes sanctions.

“In the end, many of the innocent nations like Malaysia are also affected. Hence, though we have no problem with Iran we cannot trade with the country because of the sanction. The trade war with China is also affecting us,” he said.