The Financial Action Task Force(FATF) subgroup International Cooperation Review Group(ICRG) has recommended retaining Pakistan in the ‘grey list’ citing that Pakistan failed to take appropriate action against terror financers.
The FATF had placed Pakistan on the grey list in 2018 making it difficult for Pakistan to get financial aid from IMF, ADB, European Union, and the World Bank. After a report submitted by Pakistan in October 2019, it was extended till February 2020.
In the 5-day plenary session currently ongoing in Paris, the ICRG has recommended retaining Pakistan in the grey list. A final decision regarding this is to be taken on Friday, 21 February.
In October 2019, the Asia Pacific Group (APG) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had published its annual report (Mutual Evaluation report of Pakistan) which stated, “With the exception of some recent actions discussed in detail below, Pakistan has not taken sufficient measures to fully implement UNSCR 1267 obligations against all listed individuals and entities – especially those associated with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT)/Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) as well as the groups’ leader Hafiz Saeed.”
26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed was sentenced to five and a half year jail term by Pakistan earlier this month. The action was taken ahead of the FATF meeting. Though the sentencing was timed carefully to get noticed by the FATF plenary, Pakistan’s real intentions regarding terror funding and action were exposed when the nation reported that JeM chief Masood Azhar has ‘gone missing’ with his family.
As per a report in New Indian Express, Pakistan has also reported to the FATF that of the 16 UN-designated terrorists in their country, ‘7 are dead’ and 7 have applied to the UN for withdrawal of travel and financial restrictions.
To escape from the looming blacklist, Pakistan needs the voe of 3 countries. Malaysia and Turkey had declared their support for Pakistan in last month’s meeting in Beijing. It had also got the support of current FATF chair China.
To escape from the grey list and come to the white list, Pakistan will need the 12 out of 39 votes.