Pakistan May Be Out of FATF’s ‘Grey List’ Next Month

Pakistan may be out of the ‘Grey List’ of the FATF next month due to the active support of China.

3 min read
Imran Khan, Pakistan Prime Minister

Pakistan may be out of the 'Grey List' of the international terror financing watchdog FATF next month due to the active support of China and tactical support of some Western countries, official said on Thursday.

At a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) held in Beijing, Islamabad submitted its compliance report and got support from the FATF current chair and its “all-weather friend” China and a few Western powers.

"The next plenary of the FATF will be held in February in Paris and Pakistan needs just 12 votes out of 39 to exit the 'Grey List' and move to 'White List'. There is a strong possibility of Islamabad getting enough support to exit the 'Grey List'," an Indian official privy to the development said.

In recent meetings of FATF, Pakistan has got support of Malaysia and Turkey besides China.

Could Be Cause of Worry for India

If Pakistan could convince a few Western nations with their report of taking action against terrorists, the country will be out of FATF 'Grey List', which will be a cause of worry for India, the official said.

If Pakistan comes out of the FATF 'Grey List', it will be easy for the country to get financial aid from the IMF, World Bank, ADB and the European Union, helping improve its precarious financial situation.

The FATF plenary had noted in its last meeting held in October 2019 that Pakistan addressed only five out of the 27 tasks given to it in controlling funding to terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen, responsible for a series of attacks in India.

The FATF said it strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February, 2020.

In the Beijing meeting, Pakistan provided a list of its action taken to comply with the FATF diktat.

On Grey List Since June 2018

Pakistan was placed on the 'Grey List' by the FATF in June, 2018 and was given a plan of action to complete it by October, 2019 or face the risk of being placed on the blacklist along with Iran and North Korea.

The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

The FATF currently has 35 members and two regional organisations -- the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council.

India is a member of the FATF consultations and its Asia Pacific Group and was represented in the meeting by a team of officials from the ministries of Home, External Affairs and Finance.

Pak Made 'Visible Progress' to Curb Terror Financing: China

China, which hosted a key meeting of the international terror financing watchdog in Beijing, said on Thursday that Pakistan has made "visible progress" to strengthen its counter terrorism financing system, which should be encouraged by the world community.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Asia Pacific Joint Group met in Beijing this week to scrutinise Pakistan's progress report to adopt stricter laws against terror financing and money laundering. China is the President of the FATF and co-chair for Asia Pacific Joint Group.

A Pakistani delegation led by Minister for Economic Affairs Division Hammad Azhar is in Beijing to brief the financial task force about the steps taken by Islamabad to implement the recommendations made by the FATF.

Asked how China viewed Pakistan's progress, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the media in Beijing that he has no information on the proceedings which is still going on but praised Islamabad's efforts.

“Pakistan has made great efforts to strengthen its domestic counter terrorism financing system with visible progress. Its political will and active efforts should be recognised and encouraged by the international community,” he said.

"We hope the FATF will continue to offer constructive support and assistance to Pakistan in its continued efforts to improve the counter terrorism financing system and effectively fighting the terrorist financing," he said.

"As FATF president and co-chair for Asia Pacific Joint Group, China will continue to uphold an objective, just and constructive attitude and participate in relevant discussions," he said.

(Two PTI copies have been merged for this report.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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