India again fails to get Pakistan blacklisted by FATF

Mehtab Haider, October 17, 2019

The Pakistani delegation currently visiting Paris met with the representatives of different member countries and organizations of 39-member Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to secure support for foiling the Indian bid to get Pakistan in the blacklist.

The Pakistani authorities are confident that everything is under control, as China, Malaysia and Turkey have assured them of all out support in case India or any other country presents a resolution getting Pakistan into the blacklist. So far, even the GCC countries and Saudi Arabia have supported Pakistan.

Top official sources told this reporter that the FATF’s ongoing meeting would continue till October 18 [at Paris] during which a final decision would be made.

Ahead of the FATF’s review meeting, the findings of Joint Working Group (JWG) were shared with the Pakistani authorities, showing Islamabad to be largely compliant on 10 points, partially compliant on another 10 points, and noncompliant on seven, mainly related to proscribed organisations on account of investigation, prosecutions and conviction from court of law.

The five-member Pakistani delegation led by Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar participated in the review meeting along with top military officials including DG Financial Monitoring Unit, and a Foreign Office representative.

All stakeholders were unanimous and on the same page as they worked hard to comply with all 27 points within the envisaged deadline and made good progress. Authorities are confident that the FATF will not give a new action plan. It could be the wish of Israel or India, but, on merit, it should not be done because Islamabad has taken a number of steps in the last four to 12 months period to improve its standing.

Pakistan has taken significant steps towards improving relations with the US and progress in this direction would yield positive results. On merit, official sources told The News, Pakistan should be excluded from grey list and put into green or white list as Islamabad have made impressive progress on at least 20 out of 27 FATC action plan points.

However, the official sources said the FATF might maintain Pakistan’s grey-list status for an extended period of 6 to 12 months, but in such a scenario there will be no new action plan. Islamabad might be asked to continue to ensure compliance on 17 points, on which the country made partial or little progress, for the next one year.

A top official said that Indian side might plunge into one-sided propaganda without waiting of the final outcome of the meeting because they had nothing to lose but in case of Pakistan the country’s economy would be at serious threat in case of falling into blacklist so authorities are very careful on making any statements.

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