Not Blacklisted, Pakistan Continues To Be In FATF Grey List

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SRINAGAR: As anticipated, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has not blacklisted Pakistan. Instead, it has retained the ‘grey’ tag and has been asked to address the three deficiencies by June 2021, reports that appeared in the media after FATF Thursday meeting said.

Imran Khan

“Pakistan should continue to work on implementing the three remaining items in its action plan to address its strategically important deficiencies, namely by: demonstrating that TF investigations and prosecutions target persons and entities acting on behalf or at the direction of designated persons or entities; demonstrating that TF prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions and demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists, specifically those acting for or on their behalf,” Hindustan Times quoted a FATF statement saying.

The money laundering and anti-terror financing watchdog said Pakistan has addressed 24 of the 27 action items. Marcus Pleyer, FATF president termed it a “significant progress” but highlighted “some serious deficiencies” in the “realm of terror financing”. The virtual FATF meet continued for many days started February 11.

“Against the government’s hopes of exiting the grey list this time, the FATF plenary found the country’s progress on three out of remaining six points less than satisfactory,” Pakistan newspaper The Express Tribune reported. This is the fourth FATF extension to Pakistan ever since the investigations started. “t was the fourth extension that Pakistan has managed to secure due to significant progress that it made during the last almost one and half years. Pakistan had been put on the grey list with effect from June 2018 and got 15-month time to implement a 27 points action plan.”

Pakistan, the newspaper said was placed on the grey list three times during past 12 years. “Pakistan has sustained a staggering $38 billion economic losses due to FATF decision to place the country on its grey list since 2008, says a new research paper published by an independent think-tank, Tabadlab,” it reported.

In the last FATF meeting in October, the watchdog said Pakistan has managed to address 21 of 27 issues leaving barely six to be tackled by February 2021. The six action-points were seen to be very difficult but it has managed half of it, though.

The continued grey tag means access to only high costs debts, something Pakistan claims is yet to happen. Pakistan has been on the list earlier too between 2012 and 2015. Unlike the past, however, it started responding to the FATF concerns. Though Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) was listed as a terror group by UN Security Council as early as 2008, it moved against the Jehadi conglomerate only a decade later. In the last two years, Pakistan narrowly escaped being blacklisted, mostly because of the support from Turkey, China and Malaysia.

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