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Pakistan gets 3-month reprieve from FATF on terror watch-list: Khawaja Asif

The US and the UK had moved the motion to place Pakistan on the FATF terrorist-financing watch-list.

Reported by: IANS, Islamabad [ Published on: February 21, 2018 15:27 IST ]
Khwaja Asif

Pakistan has been given a three-month reprieve by the global watchdog FATF over a US-sponsored motion to put it on a terrorist financing watch-list, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has claimed. 

“Our efforts paid, FATF Paris 20 February meeting conclusion on US-led motion to put Pakistan on watch-list. No consensus for nominating Pakistan. Proposing three months pause and asking APG (Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering) for another report to be considered in June. Grateful to friends who helped,” Asif said in a tweet. 

Member states of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) have been meeting this week in Paris, where it was expected that they would decide on a US motion—backed by the UK, France and Germany—to have Pakistan added to the ‘grey list’ of countries not doing enough to comply with terrorist-funding regulations, Dawn reported. 

Pakistan has sent Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Miftah Ismail to attend the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting at a time when the activities of Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and the Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) have created problems for the Pakistan government, media reports said. 

The US and the UK had moved the motion to place Pakistan on the FATF terrorist-financing watch-list. France and Germany are co-sponsoring the move, the report said. 

The meetings involve more than 700 delegates from the 203 jurisdictions of the FATF Global Network, as well as the UN, IMF, World Bank and other partners. 

If the FATF adopts the resolution, Pakistan could once again be placed on the grey list of countries with deficient anti-money laundering regimes. 

Pakistan suspects India’s hand behind the US-sponsored resolution as Ismail recently lamented that the FATA was used for political purposes, the report said. 

According to the financial sector experts, any move to place Pakistan on the watch-list would enhance scrutiny level of the financial transactions that the country’s banking sector would undertake with the rest of the world. 

This will increase the cost of opening letter of credits (LC) for trade purposes. The negative decision by the FATF will have the force to affect the international credit ratings, which will in turn increase cost of borrowings for the government.

 
At present, the 11 jurisdictions are on the high risk and monitoring list of the FATF, which include North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Ethiopia. Pakistan was on the FATF grey list from 2009 to 2015. 

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