Follow Us on Google News
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has retained Pakistan on its grey list despite the country meeting all the 27 points on the action plan provided by the global anti-money laundering watchdog.
FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer said Pakistan remains under increased monitoring, also referred to as grey list, until April 2022. He said Pakistan government has two concurrent action plans with a total of 34 action items and has “largely addressed” 30 of them.
The FATF president said that earlier this year in June a new action plan was issued to Pakistan after the Asia Pacific Group (AGP), a regional affiliate, identified a number of serious issues.
He said Pakistan is making “good progress” on the new action plan adding that out of the 7 new items, four have been “addressed or largely addressed”. However, the global watchdog still decided to retain Pakistan on the so-called ‘grey list’.
Greylist since 2018
Pakistan had been placed at the FATF grey list with effect from June 2018 and was asked to implement a 27-point action plan to exit the grey list.
In June this year, the FATF retained Pakistan on its grey list despite the country meeting 26 of the 27 conditions and handed it over a new six-point action plan.
The FATF noted that Pakistan had completed all but one of the 27 items in the action plan and it had decided to keep it under “increased monitoring” to keep the pressure on Islamabad.
Pakistan implemented all the 27 points proposed by the FATF, after which there was no justification for the international watchdog to continue keeping the country in its grey list.
Pakistan’s agenda was completed during the ongoing three-day FATF meeting in Paris. The meeting reviewed progress on measures against money laundering and terror financing.
Pakistan has implemented stringent laws against money laundering and terrorism financing. It has reportedly convicted more than 150 people in money laundering cases and has largely addressed the terrorism financing issue as there has been no major terror incident in the past few months.
What’s next for Pakistan?
Earlier this year, the Indian foreign minister had stated that the Narendra Modi government had ensured Pakistan remained on the FATF grey list. The Foreign Office had said the statement had vindicated Pakistan’s longstanding stance on “India’s negative role” in the global financial watchdog.
The Foreign Office had said the India foreign minister’s statement had exposed India’s “true colours” and “duplicitous” role and that it was also considering approaching the financial watchdog for appropriate action.
The FATF refused to comment on the Indian’s minister’s remarks and said the decisions on Pakistan are all taken by consensus. The FATF has insisted that Pakistan should take more action against UN-designated terror groups.
There are apprehensions whether FATF is being used as a tool of global politics to keep pressure on Pakistan. There are also questions raised over the legality and scope of the watchdog but the question remains what Pakistan has to ensure to convince world powers and come off the list.