FATF decides Pakistan’s status of grey list today
With Financial Action Task Force (FATF) commencing its three-day plenary meeting today, there is no light at the end of the tunnel for Pakistan.
Hanging in the grey list of the global anti-terror watchdog, Pakistan has been trying to garner support from the member nations to escape the list.
According to various reports, some European countries have taken a stand against Pakistan saying that Islamabad has not fully implemented all the points of a plan of action set by it to come out of the grey list.
Therefore, Pakistan may find it difficult to get out of the grey list before June this year.
Turkey and Malaysia assured Pakistan that the country’s name could not be placed on the black list without their votes.
Pakistani dissidents in exile protest outside FATF Headquarters in France demanding that Pakistan be blacklisted immediately for no action against terror financing and state sponsorship of terrorism.
The decisions taken during the upcoming virtual meeting will be announced on February 25, 2021.
In its last plenary held in October last year, the FATF had kept Pakistan on the grey list citing its failure to fulfill six out of 27 obligations of the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog. The obligations include failure to take action against two of India’s most wanted terrorists – Jaish-e Muhammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar and Jamaat-ud-Dawah head Hafiz Saeed.
According to the reports, Pakistan had complied its response to these six recommendations and has submitted a report to the FATF secretariat. The members would now evaluate Pakistan’s responses during its plenary meeting.
Earlier this month, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) had urged the money-laundering watchdog to add Islamabad to its blacklist for terrorist financing that includes the funding of jihadist mercenaries to fight for Azerbaijan against Artsakh.
The Paris-based watchdog had placed Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018. It had asked Islamabad to implement a plan of action to curb money laundering and terror financing by the end of 2019 but the deadline was extended later on due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Staying in the FATF-grey list has made it difficult for Pakistan to secure financial aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union
However Pakistan media reports,there are chances its exit.
As a three-day virtual meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will begin tomorrow, February 22, during which the steps taken by Pakistan against money laundering and terror financing will be reviewed, Pakistani officials say that if decisions are based on merit, then the country’s name will be likely removed from the FATF’s grey list.
According to sources, Pakistan has submitted a detailed report on the implementation of the remaining six points that the FATF tasked the country with.
Back in October 2020, FATF had acknowledged that of the 27 conditions that were put forth to Pakistan, 21 had been fulfilled while six were left.