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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Allies working to remove Pakistan from grey list

Allies, including China, are quietly working on getting Pakistan off the FATF's grey list during the agency's next plenary session.

China and some other allies are quietly working to get Pakistan off the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list during the agency’s next plenary session; Dawn reported citing diplomatic sources.

The development comes ahead of FATF’s four-day session in Berlin, Germany, starting on June 14. FATF – a global body that monitors money laundering and terrorism financing – delegates representing 206 members from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units would participate in the meeting.

This “quiet lobbying,” led by China, has also been mentioned in the recent reports in the international media. Dawn added that an Indian media outlet reported that the plenary session “is likely to decide to move Pakistan out from the list of countries under increased monitoring, commonly known as its grey list.”

Read more: Pakistan completes all 27 items in FATF 2018 action plan: sources

According to Tribune, Pakistan has in no danger of slipping into the FATF’s black list, citing government sources as saying that the US, Germany, and other important states have expressed a partial willingness to extend cooperation to Pakistan.

Washington’s diplomatic sources said those supporting the move argue that removing Pakistan from the FATF grey list “is essential to revive the Pakistani economy.” The county has been on the FATF’s grey list since June 2018.

On April 9, an anti-terrorism court in Lahore sent Lashkar-e-Tayyaba chief Hafiz Saeed to prison for 33 years on terrorism charges. Sources say this decision could also help Pakistan in removing this stigma.

Those who are in favour of removing Pakistan from the list point out that Pakistan’s Counter-Terrorism Department that the two cases that led to his imprisonment.

In March, the FATF, in its last plenary, noted that “Pakistan has completed 26 of the 27 action items in its 2018 action plan”. It encouraged Pakistan “to address, as soon as possible, the one remaining item, — investigating terrorism financing and targeting” senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terrorist groups.

The financial crimes watchdog acknowledged that Pakistan had also met 6 of the 7 action plans it was asked to follow in June 2021 to counter money laundering.