Pakistan Could Be Out Of FATF Grey-List; Indian Lobby Disappointed

As the meeting between Pakistan and Asia-Pacific Joint Group of the Financial Action Task Force’s meeting ends in Beijing, Islamabad is confident of obtaining American support to get out from FATF grey-list.

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China has also aggressively lobbied to ensure the Islamic Republic, which is a key ally of Beijing, is taken out from the grey-list.

The meeting of the Asia Pacific Joint Group, the FATF international cooperation review group, concluded in Beijing and China passionately used its influence, clout and charm to convince the 39-member grouping that Islamabad was making “great efforts” in the area of counter-terrorism.

On Thursday, while responding to a question on the proceedings, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said: “Pakistan has made great efforts to strengthen its domestic counter-terrorism financing system with visible progress. Its political will and active efforts should be recognised and encouraged by the international community.

We hope that the FATF will continue to offer constructive support and assistance to Pakistan in its continued efforts to improve the counter-terrorism financing system and effectively fighting terrorist financing.”

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“As FATF president and co-chair for Asia Pacific Joint Group, China will continue to uphold an objective, just and constructive attitude and participate in relevant discussions,” the spokesperson said.

Apart from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan requesting US President Donald Trump to help the country get off the ‘grey list’ during their meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Khan also interactions with the delegations and foreign offices of US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, among others, prior to the meeting, sources said.

Pakistan requires 12 votes out of total 39 in the plenary meeting of the FATF to land back in the safe white list from ‘grey list’. In order to avoid the blacklist, Pakistan required the support of three countries which it already enjoys i.e. China, Malaysia and Turkey.

Senior US Diplomat Alice Wells also assured that Pakistan’s case would be purely treated on technical grounds but said that Islamabad still had to make efforts to ensure convictions in terror-financing cases.

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The government went to attend the face-to-face meetings with a claim that it has largely addressed 22 points related to curbing money laundering and terror financing.

Now, the FATF Plenary would take place in Paris next month that will make a decision about Pakistan’s status on the grey list. Pakistan had sought the global body’s support to declare at least 22 points largely addressed during the review meetings. In October, Pakistan was found largely compliant against five targets, which the authorities now say have reached 17.