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Pakistan continues in FATF ‘grey list’ despite intense lobbying


Pakistan did not exit the ‘grey list‘ of the FATF at the endof the anti-terror financing watchdog’s four-day meeting on Thursday as a number of countries were of the opinion that Islamabad has not fullyimplemented the action plan set by the body.

The announcement was made by FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyerat a press briefing on the outcomes of the FATF plenary.

“Pakistan remains under increased monitoring,”Pleyer said, adding that while the FATF recognised the “significantprogress” made by Pakistan, “some serious deficiencies remain”.

In the last plenary held in October 2020, the FATF had concludedthat Pakistan will continue in its grey list till February 2021 as it hasfailed to fulfil six out of 27 obligations of the global money laundering andterrorist financing watchdog that include failure to take action against two ofIndia’s most wanted terrorists Jaish-e Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar andJamaat-ud-Dawah head Hafiz Saeed.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force had placedPakistan on the grey list in June 2018 and asked Islamabad to implement a planof action to curb money laundering and terror financing by the end of 2019 butthe deadline was extended later on due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Some European countries including France and Germany, hadrecommended to the FATF to continue to keep Pakistan on the grey list and hadtaken the position that not all points had been fully implemented by Islamabad,ET has learnt. Some FATF states are not satisfied with the Pakistan’sinsistence about on-site inspection as these states feel that Islamabad oftenmanipulate such inspections, ET has further learnt.

France has not been happy with the recent response of Islamabadon the cartoon issue. Pakistan has not even posted a regular ambassador inParis and Turkey-Pak axis is working against French ethos, sources said.

The US has also expressed concern over the acquittal theaccused in American journalist Daniel Pearl’s kidnapping and murder case.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court last month ordered release of British-bornal-Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and his three aides in the 2002Pearl murder case, a judgement denounced by the American journalist’s family as”a complete travesty of justice.”

With Pakistan’s continuation in the ‘grey’ list, it is increasinglybecoming difficult for Islamabad to get financial aid from the InternationalMonetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the EuropeanUnion, thus further enhancing problems for the debt-ridden nation which is in aprecarious financial situation.

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