- Financial Action Task Force (FATF) retained Pakistan on its terror funding 'grey list'
- The terror watchdog may remove Pak from grey list after on-site verification
- Pakistan now largely addressed all 34 action items from their combined two action plans: FATF
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Friday said that it has retained Pakistan on its terror funding 'grey list', adding that a further decision will be taken once the financial watchdog visits Pakistan.
The FATF had said that the country had “substantially completed its two action plans”. Since 2018, when Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF, the watchdog said that the country had continued its political commitment to combating both terror financing and money laundering. The moves, resultantly, led to significant progress.
“In particular, Pakistan demonstrated that terror financing investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terrorist groups and that there is a positive upwards trend in the number of money laundering investigations and prosecutions being pursued in Pakistan, in line with Pakistan’s risk profile. In addition, Pakistan also largely addressed its 2021 action plan ahead of the set times,” said FATF.
Will be removed from 'grey list' if...
FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer, had said that while the country is not being removed from the grey list today, it will be removed if the on-site verification goes well.
“I’m glad to say that they [Pakistan] have now largely addressed all 34 action items from their combined two action plans. Pakistan is not being removed from the grey list today. The country will be removed from the list if it successfully passes the on-site visit,” said Dr Pleyer.
Imran Khan takes credit
Ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter to say that Pakistan was nominated for greylisting by FATF in February 2018 and had to complete the most challenging action plan ever given to any jurisdiction.
The ex-PM noted, "I constituted a FATF Coordination Committee headed by key minister Hammad Azhar. The committee had representation from all govt departments & security agencies relevant to our FATF action plan. The officers worked day & night in the first instance to avoid blacklisting."
Why Pakistan was put on 'grey list'
Pakistan was put on the grey list earlier in 2018 after the FATF found many strategic anti-money laundering (AML)/combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) deficiencies in the country's system.
The FATF then gave Pakistan an action plan for achieving 10 objectives. And the global watchdog identified that 26 out of 27 action items in the 2018 plan were done by Pakistan. However, the one left agenda was about continuing to demonstrate that terror financing investigations and prosecutions targeted senior leaders and commanders of U.N. designated terrorist groups.
Despite not being put on the 'blacklist' of high risk, FATF president Marcus Pleyer said, "Pakistan has taken a number of important steps but needs to further demonstrate that investigations and prosecutions are being pursued against the senior leadership of UN-designated terror groups."