After the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided to keep Pakistan in the grey-list till February, Indian media reports have claimed that Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey was the only country to back Pakistan at the plenary meeting of the global anti-money laundering watchdog while China bailed out.
The FATF, also known by its French name, Groupe d’action financière, is an intergovernmental organisation that combats money laundering. In 2001, its mandate was expanded to include terrorism financing.
Pakistan was placed on the FATF’s grey list in 2018 whereas in February 2019, the country had secured an extra four months to complete the plan after missing 13 of the 27 targets set by the global watchdog.
According to reports, Turkey, during October 23’s plenary, proposed a special visit to Islamabad to make an onsite assessment of the Imran Khan government’s implementation to plug holes in its legal framework to curb terror financing.
The suggestion was seen as an effort to let Pakistan off the hook for now and immediately place it on the white list but was not supported by any other country, including allied China and Malaysia.
“Out of 27 points, we have implemented 21 points given by the authorities concerned regarding FATF, ” Minister for Revenue Hammad Azhar said while talking to a private television channel after the watchdog decided to retain Pakistan on its grey list.
Except India, every country had appreciated the efforts of Pakistan for satisfying the people dealing FATF, he added.
BLACKLISTING OFF THE TABLE:
In a statement, FATF urged Pakistan to complete an internationally agreed action plan by February 2021. FATF said Pakistan had now reached 21 targets out of 27 set for it in 2018 when Pakistan was placed on FATF’s “grey list” of countries with inadequate controls over terrorism financing.
But Pakistan still needs to demonstrate that law enforcement agencies are identifying and investigating the widest range of terrorism financing activity, FATF said.
The watchdog also asked Islamabad to demonstrate that terrorism financing probes resulted in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions.
“FATF acknowledged that any blacklisting is off the table now,” Pakistani federal minister Hammad Azhar tweeted.
Azhar, who leads Pakistan’s delegation at FATF plenary meetings, said the forum’s discussions were focused on how Pakistan could be supported in meeting its targets before a formal review in the middle of next year.