FATF Asia-Pacific Group puts Pakistan in 'enhanced blacklist': Officials
The Asia Pacific Group (APG) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has also found that Pakistan was non-compliant on 32 of the 40 compliance parameters of terror financing and money laundering.
“Pakistan wasnon-compliant on 32 out of 40 compliance parameters. Out of the 11 effectiveness parameters, it was adjudged as low on 10,” an official aware of developments at the APG meet in Canberra said. While the APG does not have enforcement powers, the loss may have consequences for Pakistan at FATF’s next meet in October, where it has to convince global members to avoid a financial blacklist which would hit its already fragile economy.
“The impact will be seen when the umbrella body meets. This is the lowest listing possible at APG and it has been made evident to the world banking sector that its finances are in bad shape,” the official told ET.
The APG assessed Pakistan’s safeguards against financing terrorism and money laundering that were found to be either non-complaint or very low on the credibility scale. The 10-member Pakistan team that attempted to defend its actions against terror financing has an uphill battle before October.
While Pakistan is hopeful that it will be able to avoid a blacklisting at FATF, with possible help from Beijing which has assumed the chair of the global financial watchdog, it is likely to remain on the grey list, given the APG decision.
“Pakistan has to focus on avoiding the blacklist in October, when the 15-month timeline ends on FATF’s 27-point action plan,” the official said.
The decision comes as a blow to Pakistan which has been trying its best to scale up a diplomatic offensive against India over Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier this month, the US publicly asked Pakistan to show `tangible and satisfactory actions’ against banned terror groups and their leaderships to exit FAFT’s grey list even as it tried to convince a high-level US delegation that visited Islamabad against India’s actions.
The US delegation to Islamabad, comprising acting assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Alice G Wells, and a host of treasury department officials conducted an assessment of steps, actions and measures identified during FATF’s Florida meetings in June and the progress Pakistan has since made.
Pakistan, which is trying to play a central role in US negotiations with the Taliban for a withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, has sought Washington’s help to be taken off the global money-laundering and terror financing watchdog’s grey list. In June, with support from China, Turkey and Malaysia, it managed to stay out of theblacklist.
The FATF charter requires support of at least three member states to avoid the blacklist.