Nobody can say Pak fulfilled FATF promise: French envoy

"Let us see in February if Pakistan has taken steps (to fulfil its commitment)," he said. (Photo by Reuters)

French envoy Emmanuel Lenain on Monday said that nobody can say Pakistan is fulfilling its commitment on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and there is a need to keep up pressure on the country.

The Paris-based international terror financing watchdog, which kept Pakistan on the Grey List for an extended period till February 2020, had warned in October that Islamabad would be put on the Black List if it did not comply with the remaining 22 points in a list of 27.

Responding to a question on whether France thinks that Pakistan fulfilled its commitment, Lenain said, "Nobody can say Pakistan is fulfilling its commitment and there is a need to keep up pressure on the country."

"Let us see in February if Pakistan has taken steps (to fulfil its commitment)," he said.

On the stand of France on India's amended Citizenship Act, Lenain said India is a democracy and when there are conflicts in views of people they can approach institutions like the Supreme Court which can competently take a decision.

"I don't think it is apt for any country to comment on the domestic matter of India. We believe in freedom of religion and it is not for us to comment on the matter," he said.

"We dont demarche or make public comments because it is an internal matter," he added.

Reacting to a recent advisory by France on visiting northeast India in view of the recent protests in the region, Lenain said it was a "standard advisory" that is issued whenever there is news of demonstrations.

He sought cooperation with India in the Indo-Pacific region, saying it is a "very big priority" of France to work on the whole matter. He also sought cooperation to enhance maritime security with India.

"We should keep Indo-Pacific as an open format it is not restricted to anybody and will work on pragmatic basis," he said.

India and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military maneuvering in the region.

He said there is scope for improvement of investment opportunities between the two countries.

"Direct investment of French companies in India is needed. Our companies are very good solutions for challenges that India is facing," he said.

He said another area of enhancing cooperation is through people-to-people contact.

"We want to talk to future generation and connect with them specially in a country which has such a young population," he said.

"We also want to invite more tourists from India. We are one of the few countries that issue visas within 48 hours," he said.

He also talked about the potential of increasing the number of Indian students to France.

"Right now, we have 10,000 students from India but that is much under our potential. We have a huge potential to increase this number," he said.

He said the students coming to France need not worry about any language barrier.

"Most of the curriculum of business and engineering is in English so don't worry about the language. It is not a barrier," he said. PTI UZM AAR

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