When its plenary session in Paris comes to an end on Friday, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a worldwide organisation that monitors money laundering and terrorism financing, is expected to discuss removing Pakistan from a list of nations that are subject to “enhanced monitoring.”
The FATF, widely known as the “grey list,” announced in a meeting in June that it was keeping Pakistan on the list but could remove it following a site visit to assess progress.
The Foreign Office stated last month that the FATF technical team’s visit had been “successful” and that Islamabad anticipated the evaluation process’ “logical completion” in October.
If Pakistan were to be taken off the list, it would effectively gain in reputation and be given the international community’s “all clear” about financing terrorism.
If official and diplomatic sources are to be believed, Pakistan is expected to receive a clean bill of health and be taken off the watch list.
The FATF will examine the on-site assessment report of the technical team that visited Pakistan in September to confirm the country’s actions with regard to implementing the plan of action during its two-day conference in the French capital, among other items on the agenda.
A 15-person FATF delegation secretly visited Pakistan in September as the last stage before the nation was removed from the “grey list.” The team’s results would be discussed at the meeting in Paris.
If the on-site team’s findings are successful, Pakistan will finally be able to admit that its system for preventing money laundering and financing terrorism has flaws.
The FATF team, which was granted state guest-level protocol, was present in the nation from August 29 to September 2, according to official sources.
The FATF Secretariat was given a special grant of Rs7 million by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the government to cover the cost of the team’s lodging, meals, and transport.
Although the visit was secret, sources claimed that the FATF delegation met with the necessary decision-makers and checked the actions Pakistan had done to satisfy the watchdog’s requirements.
Pakistan FATF’s “Grey List”
After concluding that Pakistan complied with the 34-point plan of action and agreeing to send a team to verify those actions, the FATF hinted at Pakistan’s removal off the grey list in June.
Due to “strategic counter-terrorist financing-related inadequacies,” Pakistan was added to the list in 2018. The FATF provided the nation with a comprehensive reform plan. To meet the requirements of the FATF, it was initially issued a 27-point action plan and then another 7-point plan.
The main roadblock was the prosecution of several people who had been designated by the UNSC and were charged with financing terrorism. The conviction of Sajid Mir in a case involving terror financing just a few days prior to the June plenary FATF conference in Berlin persuaded the FATF members to recognise Pakistan’s advancement.
Pakistani officials were certain that the FATF team would evaluate the nation’s progress favourably. The diplomats did issue a warning, though, that Pakistan’s case might still be dragged by the neighbouring nation using its influence.
The on-site visit for Pakistan is thought to have been greatly influenced by the United States, which expressed satisfaction with the country’s efforts to stop the financing of terrorism, notably the prosecution of specific individuals.
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