Published: Sun, February 25, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Pakistan Is Stepping Up Its Fight Against Terror Financing

Pakistan Is Stepping Up Its Fight Against Terror Financing

Pakistan has apparently narrowly escaped a US-led bid to put Pakistan on a terror-financing watchlist, maintained by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The global anti-money laundering watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), is reportedly going to put Pakistan back on its grey list of nations that fail to prevent terror-financing and money laundering.

THE inter-governmental organisation responsible for combating money laundering and financing of terrorism has added Pakistan to its terror-financing watch list that could cripple the country's economy, media reports said. When asked, had Pakistan been placed in the list, the experts say that it could have because after 9/11 particularly, FATF has a substantial influence over the decisions taken by International Monetary Fund and World Bank. It was included on the watch list between 2012 and 2015 for money laundering.

In technical terms, Pakistan has been put in a review process under the International Cooperation Review Group of the FATF.

While Turkey supported Pakistan at the FATF Paris conference, Farooqi is of the view that neither Turkey nor Russian Federation could bail Pakistan out for long.

The move was pushed by four nominating countries, the USA, the U.K., Germany and France.

"France and Germany subsequently joined this nomination".

A global watchdog has warned that there are deficiencies in the Sri Lankan government's efforts to stem money laundering, including in the implementation of sanctions on North Korea and Iran.

The FATF said after the plenary session that North Korea has failed to address "significant deficiencies" in its system to combat the ills that pose a risk to the global financial system. "To overcome these deficiencies, Pakistan agreed to implement FAFT's Action Plan". What can probably be said without hesitation is that the country has some grace period, despite losing the support of key allies. Anyhow, putting Pakistan back on the list would not make much difference as the country remained on the list previously and managed to survive.

Saying, Pakistan and the U.S. were trying to find common grounds, Faisal said: "So far, we have not failed".

Another official from foreign office Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif will expedite efforts to woo the friendly countries to get their support in the trouble situation. "It is not a big issue", he said.

He added: "The decision in this regard will be announced in June 2018". Worst is the fact that the Parliament, which is supposed to be the only place where issues like FATF moves should have been debated and decisions made, has been turned irrelevant mainly because of lack of interest by the parliamentarians in upholding dignity of the house and encroachment upon its domain by other institutions.

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