ISLAMABAD -UNS : Pakistan has survived from falling into the blacklist at Financial Action Task Force (FATF) with the support of more than three countries at the plenary review meeting held in USA.
The FATF will formally announce its decision today (Friday). The FATF plenary meeting is being held from June 16 to 21 at Florida, US. Pakistan’s delegation was in the US for attending the meeting. Pakistan had foiled an Indian attempt to downgrade Pakistan from grey to blacklist as New Delhi tabled a resolution against Islamabad. With the support of friendly countries, Pakistan avoided downgrading as Islamabad took measures in the last six months.
One top official confirmed that Islamabad had succeeded to avoid falling into blacklist.
Islamabad has been on the global money laundering watchdog’s radar since June 2018, when it was placed on a grey list for terrorist financing and money laundering risks after an assessment of the country’s financial system and security mechanism.
Turkey was the only country that had opposed the move backed by the United States, the United Kingdom and Pakistan’s arch-rival India. However, Islamabad’s long-time ally, Beijing abstained.
Moving one step further, New Delhi — co-chair of the joint group of FATF and Asia Pacific Group — wants Islamabad to be placed on the Paris-based watchdog’s blacklist of the countries, which fail to meet international standards in combating financial crimes.
However, an aggressive diplomatic push from Islamabad has frustrated the looming threat with the support of Turkey, China, and Malaysia.
According to the 36-nation FATF charter, the support of at least three member states is essential to avoid the blacklisting.
“This is certainly a positive development that there is no imminent threat of blacklisting (by the FATF) due to crucial support from Turkey, China and Malaysia,” an official was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency.
But, he added, Pakistan had to meet the FATF deadline — January 2019 — to complete its action plan aimed at fully blocking the money laundering and other financial loopholes.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal refused to comment on the development.
Islamabad requires at least 15 out of 36 votes to move out of the watchdog’s grey list, which is causing an estimated loss of $10 billion per year.