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FATF officially placed Pakistan on its grey list

28 June, 2018

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The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Wednesday officially placed Pakistan on its grey list after a plenary meeting in Paris. The announcement was made late on Wednesday night. Despite Pakistan's diplomatic efforts to avert the decision, the financial watchdog, in its meeting, argued that Pakistan had failed to curb terror financing on its soil.

Earlier in the day, caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar had urged the FATF to remove Pakistan from its grey list. As the FATF plenary began its proceedings, the Pakistani delegation apprised the watchdog of steps Islamabad had taken to weed out money laundering and terror financing.

Earlier, reports from Paris had indicated that Pakistan may get more time to take measures to implement the FATF’s anti-money laundering and terrorist-financing regulations.

The Foreign Office (FO) had confirmed in February that Pakistan would be placed on FATF's grey list in June if it did not take measures to curb terror financing.

However, FO spokesperson Mohammad Faisal had assured that an action plan to eradicate terrorist financing was being prepared and would accordingly be shared with the international body.

"Pakistan will be assigned to the ‘grey list’ in June, once an action plan has been mutually negotiated," the spokesman had said, adding that Pakistan will cooperate with FATF in every possible way.

A 37-nation FATF plenary held its first meeting on Pakistan in February where China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia opposed the United States-led move to place Pakistan on the watchlist. But the US pushed for an unprecedented second discussion on Pakistan, held on February 22.

By then, Washington had convinced Riyadh to give up its support to Pakistan in return for a full FATF membership. This left only two – China and Turkey – in the Pakistan camp, one less than the required number of three members to stall a move.

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