India Welcomes FATF Decision to Put Pakistan on ‘Grey List’ Again
India welcomed the decision of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to place Pakistan in its ‘grey list’ again.
“Pakistan has given high level political commitment to address global concerns on implementation of FATF standards for countering terror financing and anti-money laundering,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement, on 30 June.
On 28 June, Pakistan was placed on the FATF's compliance document – or ‘grey list’ – for failing to curb terror financing, despite its diplomatic efforts to avert the decision, an official said.
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 placement on the ‘grey list’ could hurt Pakistan’s economy as well as its international standing.
Pakistan on ‘Grey List’ Not a Surprise
The FATF’s decision came at the back of the global financial watchdog's plenary session in Paris, where Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar represented Pakistan, according to official sources.
Pakistan submitted a comprehensive 26-point action plan to the FATF to choke the funding of militants groups, including Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led JuD and its affiliates, to avoid being blacklisted by it.
As the 37-nation FATF plenary began its proceedings on Pakistan's action plan spanning 15 months, the Pakistani delegation apprised the watchdog of the steps Islamabad had taken to weed out money laundering and terror financing to avoid the country being placed on the grey list.
"It is a political decision and (has) nothing to do with the performance of Pakistan against terrorism," they said. They said that Pakistan will stay on the list for a year or so and will eventually be out of it as has happened in the past.
Pakistan remained on the FATF grey list from 2012 to 2015.
The process began in February 2018 when the FATF approved the nomination of Pakistan for monitoring under its International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) commonly known as 'grey list’.
Pakistan was asked to prepare a plan to address the international body's concerns and get its approval or risk being moved to the black list. It presented the 26-point plan of action to the FATF plenary with the commitment to implement it over a period of 15 months to address the concerns of the global community.
The endorsement of the plan means that the FATF formally placed Pakistan on the ‘grey list’. In case it had rejected the plan, Pakistan would have been on FATF's public statement, also called the black list.
On 20 June, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan issued the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Regulations 2018, in compliance with FATF recommendations.
On 8 June, the National Security Committee reaffirmed its commitment to cooperate with the FATF.
By January next year, Pakistan will publish the updated lists of persons and entities proscribed under the Anti-Terrorism Act and the UN-designated entities.
(With PTI and ANI inputs.)
(The Quint is now available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)