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Pakistan events before FATF meet: Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Pak; Saeed in jail

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on a two-day visit to Pakistan, as the Imran Khan government is courting Turkey to prevent being blacklisted at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary meet that begins in Paris on Sunday.

Besides meeting Pakistan’s top leaders, Erdogan will also address a joint session of Pakistan’s parliament in what is being viewed as a significant development amid fluid geopolitics. Earlier this month, Khan had visited Malaysia to seek PM Mahathir Mohammad’s support at FATF meet and for the Kashmir ’cause’.

Turkey and Malaysia, besides China, have emerged as Pakistan’s biggest supporters on its Kashmir narrative as well as in FATF, as Erdogan and Mahathir are seeking to emerge as the leaders of the global Islamic community. The trio saved Pakistan twice last year, offering three required votes to avoid blacklisting by the FATF.

“We have seen media reports that a court in Pakistan has sentenced UN designated and internationally proscribed terrorist Hafiz Saeed in terror financing case. It is part of a long pending international obligation of Pakistan to put an end to support for terrorism. The decision has been made on the eve of FATF Plenary meeting, which has to be noted. Hence, the efficacy of this decision remains to be seen,” diplomatic sources told ET and indicated that such cosmetic measures will not help Pakistan’s case as the country will continue to remain in Grey List for forseeable future.

Erdogan is leading a high-powered delegation comprising cabinet ministers, senior government officials as well as CEOs of leading Turkish corporations. The visit comes at a time when Pakistan is trying to control damage following its absence from the Kuala Lumpur Islamic summit in December last year. Erdogan had criticised the move and claimed that Pakistan acted under Saudi pressure.

However, in a catch-22 situation for Pakistan, Saudi Arabia has refused to concede its demand for a standalone meet of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Kashmir.

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