Monday , 30 November 2020
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Pakistan’s fate hangs in balance at FATF meeting

Pakistan is under a lot of pressure at the Financial Action Task Force or the FATF meeting, currently under way in Paris, to rein in terror groups operating from its soil. 

Pakistani delegation will apprise the task force about the steps it has taken to comply with the requirements. 

At the ongoing plenary of the FATF, chances are high that Pakistan will be retained on the ‘grey list’ due to its dismal compliance in case of 40 recommendations set by the task force at the time of its inclusion in the list.  

National security Advisor Ajit Doval, who was addressing a meeting of the chiefs of the Anti Terrorism Squads said the biggest pressure on Pakistan comes from the functionaries of the FATF.

Ahead of the FATF’s crucial decision on whether to blacklist the country the United States revved up pressure on Pakistan and said that it must prevent militant groups from operating on its soil and prosecute top Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives along with its leader Hafiz Saeed.

Alice Wells, head of the US state department’s South and Central Asian bureau, also welcomed the arrest of the top four leaders of Lashkar-e-Taiba/Jamaat-ud-Dawah in Pakistan.

Pakistan was placed on the grey list by the Paris-based watchdog in June last year and was given a plan of action to complete it by October 2019, or face the risk of being placed on the black list with Iran and North Korea.

According to a report released by the Asia Pacific Group chances are high that Pakistan will be retained on the ‘grey list’ as the country has complied with just one the 40 recommendations set by the global anti-money laundering watchdog at the time of the country’s inclusion in the list.

The report underlined that Pakistan’s regulators – the State Bank of Pakistan and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan – have very limited understating of the money laundering and terror financing regimes.

It stated that corruption, drug trafficking, fraud, tax evasion, smuggling, human trafficking and organised crime were major predicate offences to money laundering and areas of high risk.

If Pakistan continues with the ‘grey list’, it would be very difficult for the country to get financial aid from the IMF, the World Bank and the European Union, making its financial condition more precarious.

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.

 

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