Pakistan poised to remain on terror watchdog FATF's 'gray list'
The global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to keep Pakistan on its 'gray list', informed sources told the news agency ANI. A final decision in the matter, however, will be taken on Friday. Regardless, the development is a major setback for Pakistan, which had been lobbying intensely to ditch the gray list. Here are more details.
FATF sub-group decided to 'gray list' Pakistan after Tuesday meeting
Sources told ANI that FATF is set to keep Pakistan on its gray list. The final decision in the matter will be taken on Friday after the FATF's week-long plenary session in Paris ends. FATF's sub-group, International Co-operation Review Group, recommended Pakistan's continuation on the gray list after a meeting earlier on Tuesday, sources said. The ICRG cited Pakistan's failure to check terror funding.
Turkey, Malaysia, China supported Pakistan in last FATF meeting
Notably, Pakistan needs 12 votes out of the 39 FATF members to ditch the gray list and three to avoid the 'black list'. In last month's FATF meeting, Turkey, Malaysia, and current task force chair China came out in Pakistan's support.
Recently, Pakistan sentenced Hafiz Saaed in two terror financing cases
In fact, on Monday Pakistan submitted a report indicating compliance to 14 points out of a 27-point action plan to counter money laundering and terror financing. Last week, a Pakistan court also handed an 11-year jail sentence to Jamat-ud-Dawa chief and 2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed in two terror financing cases. Reportedly, the nation used Saeed's sentencing to defend itself at FATF.
Pakistan claims 7 out of 16 UN-designated terrorists are dead
Pakistan also claimed that out of 16 United Nations-designated terrorists in Pakistan, seven are dead, and the remaining nine have applied to the world body for exemption from financial and travel restrictions. Notably, Saeed is also a UN-designated terrorist.
Masood Azhar and his family missing, claims Pakistan
Recently, Pakistan also informed FATF that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) founder Masood Azhar and his family are "missing." However, Indian intelligence agencies claimed that he is living near Jaish's Bahawalpur headquarters. Defense experts in New Delhi also said on Saturday that Saeed's sentencing is only aimed at deluding the international community, claiming he would be released shortly after FATF's decision.
Pakistan has been on FATF's gray list since June 2018
In June 2018, Pakistan was put on FATF's gray list and handed an action plan with an October 2019 deadline. In October 2019, FATF urged Pakistan to comply with at least 22 points on the 27-point action plan by February 2020, keeping it on the gray list. If not removed from the list by April, Pakistan may land in FATF's black list and face harsh economic sanctions.