Saudi, UAE Could Support Pakistan At FATF Over Withdrawing From KL Summit

Pakistan has despatched a detailed reply to a Joint Group of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to share the progress of Islamabad to tackle money laundering and terror financing in Pakistan. 

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The review on the implementation of the FATF Action Plan will take place in Paris next month, where Pakistan will try to have its name removed from the grey list of the global body.

Besides Turkey, Malaysia and China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are also expected to support Pakistan’s removal from the grey-list especially after Imran Khan pulled from the KL summit in Malaysia.

The meeting, scheduled to take place in Beijing from January 21 to 24, will give the Pakistani delegation the opportunity to defend each and every point discussed in its progress report. By mid-February, the group will decide the fate of the country with regards to FATF procedures, but experts suggest that Pakistan cannot be blacklisted.

Mansoor Siddiqui, the director-general of the Financial Monitoring Unit, recently told a parliamentary panel that Pakistan hoped to win a “largely-compliant” rating from the FATF on the implementation of its 27 action points, which might help the government get more time from the watchdog for full compliance.

The FATF plenary had formally placed Pakistan in the grey list in June 2018 after the country could not secure a minimum of three votes. On May 3, former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India will ask the FATF to put Pakistan on a blacklist of countries that fail to meet international standards in stopping financial crime.

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On the other hand, arch-foe India, despite intensive lobbying, has failed to garner enough support to corner Pakistan and place them in the black-list. Pakistan requires three votes out of a total of 39 members of the FATF forum to avoid falling into the blacklist.