Pakistan may face disappointment yet again over the FATF greylist crucial meeting: Media Report

Pakistan may face disappointment yet again over the FATF greylist crucial meeting: Media Report

NEW DELHI - The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) placed Pakistan on its “Grey List” in June 2018. Islamabad was asked to comply with a plan of action by October 2019, which was further extended to February 2020, or face the risk of being placed on the money laundering watchdog's blacklist along with Iran and North Korea.

Despite active support from Pakistan’s all-weather ally China and tactical support from some countries in the West, Islamabad might not be successful in getting its name taken off from the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) "Grey List" link in February, Pakistani media cited diplomatic sources as saying on condition of anonymity.

Last week, Islamabad sent its Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar to Beijing with a delegation to submit a fresh compliance report before a plenary meeting of the FATF. He reportedly used the opportunity to inform of steps being taken by his country to implement the watchdog’s recommendations.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi voiced confidence about his country being taken off the "Grey List" next month after the plenary meeting on 21-23 January. However, Pakistani media quoted diplomatic sources and analysts as saying that they foresaw a further extension of six months.

China’s Foreign Ministry on 23 January praised Islamabad's efforts for strengthening its domestic counter-terrorism financing system and urged the international community link to recognise the latter’s active efforts.

"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", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media in Beijing during his regular briefing.

“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 stated further.

Last week, senior American diplomat Alice Wells, on an official visit to Pakistan, also applauded the latter for making “significant progress link on legislative and administrative matters" related to the FATF action plan, Sputnik has reported.

The Pakistani government has maintained that it has addressed 24 of the 27 concerns listed by the FATF, which was a vast improvement over the assessment of its compliance in October 2019, when it was mentioned that only five out of the 27 had been effectively addressed.