Apparently, at first, China did oppose the move to put Pakistan on what's called a 'grey list' of the Financial Action Task Force. Soon after, though, it convinced Saudi Arabia to drop its support for Pakistan. That would have left just China and Turkey supporting Pakistan and that wasn't a tenable situation for Beijing
by Shailaja Neelakanta
NEW DELHI: China backed down from speaking for Pakistan at a recent international meeting on terror because it didn't want to "lose face by supporting a move that's doomed to fail", official unnamed sources told Dawn newspaper.
At first, so sure was Pakistan of China's support in dissuading the US and others from putting it on a terror funding watchlist that its foreign minister even tweeted saying he was "grateful to friends who helped". Days later, foreign minister Khawaja Asif and Pakistan had egg on their face, as reports came in that China remained neutral.
Apparently, at first, China did oppose the move to put Pakistan on what's called a 'Grey List' of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It joined Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – represented by Saudi Arabia which wasn't a member in and of itself – in its support for Islamabad, said Dawn.
Soon after, though, the US pushed for an unprecedented second discussion on Pakistan, which was held on February 22, said the Dawn report. And by then, it convinced Saudi Arabia to accept a quid pro quo – 'We will give you full FATF membership if you drop your support for Pakistan'.
Saudi Arabia agreed. That left only two countries – China and Turkey – on Pakistan's side. A minimum of three FATF members are required to oppose a grey-listing.
That's when China informed Pakistan it was backing out of supporting it because it did not want to "lose face by supporting a move that's doomed to fail", official sources told Dawn.
"Pakistan appreciated the Chinese position and conveyed its gratitude to Turkey for continuing to support Islamabad against all odds," the source added.
Earlier this week, sources told TOI that another bargaining point Washington used in getting Beijing to drop its support for Pakistan was pledging support to get China into a top position in the FATF. In fact, India and the US both pledged support to China in return for China's neutrality on Pakistan, sources said to TOI.
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