Islamabad: Pakistan has been given a three-month reprieve by the global watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) over a US-sponsored motion to put it on a terror financing watchlist, foreign minister Khawaja Asif has claimed.
“Our efforts paid, FATF Paris 20 February meeting conclusion on US-led motion to put Pakistan on watchlist. No consensus for nominating Pakistan. Proposing three months pause and asking APG (Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering) for another report to be considered in June. Grateful to friends who helped," Asif said in a tweet.
Member states of the FATF have been meeting this week in Paris, where it was expected that they would decide on a US motion—backed by the UK, France and Germany—to have Pakistan added to the “grey list" of countries not doing enough to comply with terror funding regulations, Dawn reported.
Pakistan has sent adviser to prime minister on finance, Dr Miftah Ismail, to attend the FATF meeting at a time when the activities of Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and the Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) have created problems for the Pakistan government, media reports said.
The US and the UK had moved the motion to place Pakistan on the FATF terror financing watchlist. France and Germany are co-sponsoring the move, the report said. The meetings involve more than 700 delegates from the 203 jurisdictions of the FATF Global Network, as well as the UN, IMF, World Bank and other partners. If the FATF adopts the resolution, Pakistan could once again be placed on the grey list of countries with deficient anti-money laundering regimes.
Pakistan suspects India’s hand behind the US-sponsored resolution as Ismail recently lamented that the FATA was used for political purposes, the report said. According to the financial sector experts, any move to place Pakistan on the watch-list would enhance scrutiny level of the financial transactions that the country’s banking sector would undertake with the rest of the world.
This will increase the cost of opening letter of credits for trade purposes. The negative decision by the FATF will have the force to affect the international credit ratings, which will in turn increase cost of borrowings for the government. At present, the 11 jurisdictions are on the high risk and monitoring list of the FATF, which include North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Ethiopia. Pakistan was on the FATF grey list from 2009 to 2015. PTI