The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to continue keeping Pakistan on the ‘grey list’ as the 3-day meeting of the task force ended on Thursday. All eyes are on whether Pakistan will be ‘blacklisted’ for promoting terrorism or will remain in the ‘grey list’ as before. The global money laundering and terror financing watchdog meets for its next session in April 2022, according to a media report. Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was in session for three days from October 19 to 21.
The FATF in June retained Pakistan on its ‘grey list’ for failing to check money laundering, leading to terror financing, and asked Islamabad to investigate and prosecute senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terror groups, including Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar. It also asked Pakistan to work to address its strategically-important deficiencies.
Virtually connected delegates will join those that are able to travel to Paris for three days of meetings, during which they will discuss key issues to strengthen global action against the financial flows that fuel crime and terrorism, the FATF said in a statement on Monday.
The FATF said it will finalise key reports, including the revised guidance on virtual assets and their service providers and discuss next steps to strengthen its standards on transparency of beneficial ownership.
Delegates will also discuss the outcomes of the FATF’s survey to identify areas where divergent anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing rules or their implementation cause friction for cross-border payments.
FATF is leading work on this aspect of the G20’s priority to improve cross-border payments, it said.
The FATF, which will announce the outcomes of the plenary on October 21, will also update its statements identifying jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
Pakistan was placed on the grey list by the FATF in June, 2018 and was given a plan of action to complete it by October, 2019.
Since then the country continues to be in that list due to its failure to comply with the FATF mandates.
With Pakistan’s continuation in the grey list, it is increasingly becoming difficult for the country to get financial aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union, thus further enhancing problems for the country.
Pakistan has so far avoided being on the blacklist with the help of China, Turkey and Malaysia.
The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. The FATF currently has 39 members including two regional organisations — the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council.
India is a member of the FATF consultations and its Asia Pacific Group.
(With PTI Inputs)