Pakistan to remain on international watchdog FATF's 'gray list': sources

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Pakistan to remain on international watchdog FATF's 'gray list': sources

Translating…

NEW DELHI: A meeting of the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG), sub-group of the FATF, has recommended to retain Pakistan on greylist. The final decision will be taken on Friday when the FATF takes up Pakistan’s case, according to sources.

China, Turkey and Malaysia rallied in support of Pakistan at the meeting.

Islamabad was being evaluated by the International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG), a part of FATF, for the steps taken by the former on the implementation of its plan of action to curb terror funding. The evaluation was to check if Islamabad had taken sufficient steps to avoid being “blacklisted”.

If blacklisted, Pakistan would have faced isolation from the international banking system, introducing stricter checks and safeguards on transactions involving the country.

Pakistan had submitted a report on action regarding the implementation of the watchdog’s plan of action during the Paris meeting last year.

The FATF, a global terror financing watchdog, in 2018 placed Pakistan on the grey list and the watchdog had granted Islamabad an extension till February 2020 during a meeting in October last year.

The FATF’s Asia-Pacific Group’s meeting, which took place in Beijing last year in October, analyzed Pakistan’s situation from a technical point of view. China, who took over as the chair of the inter-governmental organisation since July 2019, expressed satisfaction over the “visible progress” made by Islamabad, leading to speculations that it could be put in a “white” list from “grey” list, according to Pakistan media reports.

The body had warned that Islamabad could be put on the blacklist if it did not comply with the remaining 22 out of 27 points related to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing.

Defence experts in New Delhi noted that the recent sentencing of Jama’at-ud-Da’wah (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, just days ahead of the FATF meeting in Paris is just an eyewash to delude the international community and that the Mumbai terror attacks mastermind will be released shortly after the watchdog announces its decision.

Last year, under pressure after the FATF review, Pakistan formally banned Saeed’s JuD and other associated organizations, after years of allowing them to operate freely across the country.

(with inputs from agencies)

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