PARIS/KARACHI: Pakistan has been added to the grey list of countries involved in providing monetary assistance to terrorism and related causes, media reported, after a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) here confirmed the decision.
Presenting Pakistan’s case at the FATF talks in Paris, Dr Shamshad Akhtar, the interim minister for finance and planning, apprised the watchdog of the steps the country has taken to stem money laundering and terror financing, and put up a robust case for not placing its name on the greylist.
During the crucial meeting, the Akhtar-led Pakistani delegation also talked about Islamabad’s efforts against the banned outfits and various terrorist groups.
The Pakistani delegation’s case indicated that the nation has been working to curb financial assistance for terrorists, made existing laws better, and ensured improved implementation of the current regulations.
Speaking in light of the latest development, Azam Khan, the caretaker minister of interior affairs, said the watchdog was under pressure from the United States and India, both of which together also compelled Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and China.
Earlier the same, day, Akhtar, who reached Paris on June 24 alongside officials of the financial monitoring unit to fight the country’s case, had requested the FATF to remove Pakistan from its greylist as the body was to conduct a review.
In compliance with the FATF’s recommendations, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), on June 20, issued the Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Regulations, 2018.
Prior to that, on June 8, the National Security Committee (NSC) had reaffirmed its commitment to cooperate with FATF and strive towards realising “shared objectives”.
“The committee reaffirmed the commitment of the country to work with FATF and other international organisations in achieving common goals and shared objectives,” a statement — issued by the Prime Minister Office on the NSC meeting — had said.
While official had indicated that Pakistan was likely to be granted more time to implement necessary measures to be compliant with the FATF’s anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations, that did not turn out to be the case in the six-day meeting in the French capital that runs from June 24 through 29.
FATF, a global body that combats terrorist financing and money laundering, had taken the decision to place Pakistan on its grey list during a plenary meeting in February this year. The country was also included in the list from 2012 to 2015.
Pakistan has been scrambling in recent months to avoid being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations by the FATF, a measure that officials fear could hurt its economy.