FATF retains Pakistan on its grey list; Turkey also added to list
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has retained Pakistan on its Grey List. FATF President Marcus Pleyer announced the decision was after a three-day-long plenary session of the global terror financing watchdog in Paris yesterday. He said, Pakistan government failed to comply with four of action points out of 34-point action plan given by FATF. Three other countries – Turkey, Mali and Jordan have been added to the FATF Grey List. FATF also expressed concern over the current evolving money laundering and terrorist financing risk environment in Afghanistan after Taliban took control of the nation.
FATF President said, Pakistan needs to further demonstrate that investigations and prosecutions are being pursued against the senior leadership of UN-designated terror groups including India’s most wanted Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar. Masood Azhar was involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, 2016 Pathankot attack, and 2019 Pulwama attack.
Pakistan was placed on the grey list by the FATF in June 2018 for failing to check money laundering, leading to terror financing.
The FATF plenary was attended by delegates International Monetary Fund, the United Nations and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units among others. It will meet again in April 2022.
The latest US Congressional report on terrorism “Terrorist and Other Militant Groups in Pakistan”, says that at least 12 groups designated as “foreign terrorist organizations” by the US are based in Pakistan. These include five that are India-centric. As per the US administration, Islamabad continues to remain a base of operations for numerous non-state militant groups, many with global reach.
Pakistan’s inclusion in the grey list has severely hampered Islamabad’s prospects of obtaining financial assistance from world bodies such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and Asia Development Bank. Most recently, Islamabad’s endeavour to obtain a 1 billion dollar loan from the IMF also failed.
The world has also been watching Pakistan’s efforts to back the Taliban government in Afghanistan as well as its proximity to the infamous Haqqani network.