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Pakistan not likely to be blacklisted at FATF plenary meeting

The Financial Action Task Force is likely to keep Pakistan in the grey list to keep a check on terrorism financing. Allies in favour of Pakistan comprise Malaysia, Turkey and China that make sure Pakistan stays out of the more stringent black list.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Oct 18, 2019, 07.31 AM IST
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New Delhi: Pakistan may yet again avoid being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), whose plenary meet ends in Paris on Friday, but it is likely to continue on the grey list despite concerted efforts to escape any censure from the multilateral body set up in 1989 to check money laundering and terrorism financing.

Malaysia and Turkey batted for Pakistan with tacit backing of China, current FATF president, and this is likely to ensure that Pakistan stays out of the more stringent black list with three necessary votes in its favour. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is all set to visit Islamabad next week to show solidarity with its ally Pakistan.

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According to indications so far, despite negative Asia Pacific Group (APG) findings, FATF will continue to keep Pakistan on its grey list till February 2020 and direct the country to take extra measures for complete elimination of terrorism financing and money laundering. However, FATF raised concerns over a tax amnesty scheme offered in Pakistan amid India’s demand for blacklisting of Pakistan as the meeting began on October 13, ET has learnt.

At the ongoing FATF meeting in Paris, Pakistan’s minister for economic affairs, Hammad Azhar, claimed positive performance of his country on 20 of the 27 parameters to check terror financing.

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.

Pakistan’s presence on the grey list makes it difficult for the country to get financial aid from the IMF, the World Bank and the European Union, adversely impacting its economy which has already been reeling under crisis.

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In August, the APG, a regional affiliate of the FATF, expressed concern over Pakistan’s performance owing to technical flaws. It had placed Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (blacklist) for its failure to meet standards. Pakistan scored poorly in the FATF-APG report – which was based on 10 parameters for ‘effectiveness and technical compliance ratings’ and 40 parameters for ‘technical compliance ratings’.

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