Pakistan on Thursday (June 20) managed to garner much-needed support from three member states of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to avoid being placed on its blacklist, but black clouds are still hanging over it.
Islamabad has been on the global money laundering watchdog’s radar since June 2018, when it was placed on a grey list for terrorist financing and money laundering risks after an assessment of the country’s financial system and security mechanism. Moving one step further, New Delhi — co-chair of the joint group of FATF and Asia Pacific Group — wants Islamabad to be placed on the Paris-based watchdog’s blacklist of the countries, which fail to meet international standards in combating financial crimes.
However, an aggressive diplomatic push from Islamabad has frustrated the looming threat with the support of Turkey, China and Malaysia. According to the 36-nation FATF charter, the support of at least three member states is essential to avoid the blacklisting.
Confirming the development that took place at the five-day meeting of the watchdog’s Plenary and Working Group meeting in Orlando, Florida last week, an official at Pakistan’s foreign ministry admitted that “the danger is still not over”. But, he added, Pakistan had to meet the FATF deadline — January 2019 — to complete its action plan aimed at fully blocking the money laundering and other financial loopholes.
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