As the FATF Plenary and Working Group Meetings is set to begin in Paris from Monday, all eyes will be on Pakistan as it would look to exit the “grey list” of the global anti-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering watchdog.
Pakistan has been on the Paris-based FATF’s grey list for deficiencies in its counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering regimes since June 2018. This greylisting has adversely impacted its imports, exports, remittances, and limited access to international lending.
Since coming to power, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been campaigning for Pakistan’s removal from the FATF’s greylisting without any success. Experts believe the Pakistani government has failed to take action against terror organizations. On the contrary, it has been capitulating before Islamist outfits such as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).Last week, Pakistan Foreign Office said they had fully complied with the conditions laid down by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for exiting its ‘grey list’ and suggested that only political considerations of the members of the illicit financing watchdog can hold it back in that category, the Dawn newspaper reported.
“In the context of FATF, we have faithfully complied with and completed all technical requirements and hope that the outcome would be in the positive direction,” the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said at the media briefing.
Last October, Global financial watchdog FATF had retained Pakistan on its ‘grey list’.
Pakistan was retained on the FATF ‘grey list’ for failing to effectively implement the global FATF standards and over its lack of progress on investigation and prosecution of senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terror groups.
FATF President had said Pakistan will remain on the grey list till it addresses all items on the original action plan agreed to in June 2018 as well as all items on a parallel action plan handed out by the watchdog’s regional partner – the Asia Pacific Group (APG) – in 2019.