Pakistan Likely To Exit FATF's 'Terror Funding' Grey List After Over Four Years: Report

Pakistan Likely To Exit FATF's 'Terror Funding' Grey List After Over Four Years: Report

Pakistan is anticipated to be removed from the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force, the Paris-based global watchdog on money laundering and terrorist financing, this week, according to a report in the Dawn newspaper. Pakistan was placed in the grey list in 2018 for failing to keep a check on money laundering and terrorist financing.

The first FATF plenary under the two-year Singapore Presidency of T Raja Kumar will take place on October 20-21. A decision on Pakistan is expected to be taken in that meeting. 

Deficiencies in its legal, financial, regulatory, investigations, prosecution, judicial and non-government sector to tackle money laundering and combat terror financing led Pakistan to be inlcuded in FATF’s grey list in June 2018.

Under a 27-point action plan, Pakistan had made high-level political promises to resolve these shortcomings. The number of action points were later revised 34.

Since its inclusion into the grey list, Pakistan has actively collaborated with FATF and its affiliates to enhance its legal and financial systems against money laundering and the funding of terrorism in order to comply with 40 FATF recommendations and meet international standards.

Due to it being on the grey list for over four years, cash-strapped Pakistan has faced difficulties in obtaining financial assistance from the IMF, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the European Union.

The FATF and Asia Pacific Group, a regional affiliate headquartered in Sydney, sent a joint 15-member mission to Pakistan from August 29 to September 2 to inspect the nation’s adherence to the 34-point action plan that was committed to FATF.

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The delegation’s visit to Pakistan was kept under wraps by the local authorities, who afterwards described it as “a smooth and successful visit”.

The report of the FATF onsite team will be discussed in FATF’s International Cooperation Review Group and plenary meetings. Decisions made by the FATF plenary will be made public after the two days of discussion.

Delegates representing 206 members of the Global Network and observer organisations, including the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the World Bank, Interpol and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, will participate in the plenary meetings in Paris.

Pakistan has so far avoided being on the black list of the FATF with the help of close allies like China, Turkey and Malaysia.

Pakistan was found to be “compliant or largely compliant” by FATF on all 34 action points in June this year. The FATF then chose to send an onsite team to confirm this on the ground before publicly declaring Pakistan’s removal from the grey list.

(With inputs from PTI)