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With little action against terrorism, Pak likely to stay on FATF grey list

BS Web Team/ 11 Jun 19 | 01:47 PM

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has given an all clear to Pakistan on only two of 27 action plans it was supposed to complete to get out of the grey list, media reports said.

A country is put on the grey list when it fails to curb terrorism financing and money laundering. In April, it had asked Pakistan to reassess the operation of banned terrorist outfits in the country.

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According to a Times of India report, Pakistan is likely to stay in the grey list for now. It was put on the list in June 2018.

The senior official, who participated in the APG meeting in China's Guangzhou in May, told Pakistan's Dawn newspaper that the coming FATF Plenary and Working Group meetings in Orlando, Florida, scheduled for June 16-21, would be crucial for Pakistan to get out of the grey list or falling into the black list and having serious economic repercussions. The country was given 15 months to clear out the terror camps or it may get blacklisted.

The review on the implementation of the FATF Action Plan held in February did not go well, which has increased pressure on Pakistan.

The FATF currently comprises 36 members with voting powers and two regional organisations, representing most of the major financial centres in all parts of the globe.

The FATF plenary placed Pakistan in the grey list after the country could not secure a minimum of three votes.

On May 3, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India will ask the FATF to put Pakistan on a blacklist of countries that fail to meet international standards in stopping financial crime.

"The Foreign Office is calculating the annual loss if Pakistan is pushed in the black-list by the FATF as India is lobbying for this," said Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a reply.

In the past few weeks, Pakistan has shut down at least 13 key terror camps across the LoC, media reports said. Terror training camps of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) have been shut down, Economic Times reported.

Pakistan has been on FATF’s grey list for terror financing since last June but this is not the first time the country is under watch. It was grey-listed from 2008 to 2010 and then from 2012 to 2015. But people in the know say Islamabad has not much to fear of getting blacklisted.

“The discussions are still taking place. Don't forget China is a member state of the FATF. There are a number of other Asian countries too in it. So, what centrally seems likely to me is that they will be kept on the watchlist," said G Parthasarthy, a former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan told The Telegraph.

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