Pak likely to stay in FATF grey list over inadequacy in curbing terror

Pakistan is expected to be retained in the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) “grey list” at an upcoming meeting of the multilateral watchdog as it hasn’t made adequate progress in countering terror financing, diplomats of two European countries have said.

The working group and plenary meetings of FATF in Paris from February 16 to 21 will assess the implementation of a 27-point action plan by Pakistan, which was placed in the grey list in June 2018 for failing to stop fund raising by groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Taliban and al-Qaeda.

“The available information suggests Pakistan has taken some steps to bring its terror financing and money laundering laws in line with international obligations and to improve its legal structures,” said a diplomat from a European country that was closely involved in the efforts which led to Pakistan being included in the grey list.

Also Read: Australia unlikely to support Pakistan to get off FATF grey list

“But it hasn’t done enough to prosecute or convict terrorists, including those sanctioned by the UN, for their involvement in terror financing. It is expected to stay in the grey list,” said the diplomat who declined to be named. He added the latest analysis showed Pakistan was fully or partially compliant with only 14 of the 27 points in the action plan.

A diplomat from a second European nation that closely tracks Pakistan’s efforts to end terror financing, too, said the country is expected to stay in the grey list till the next FATF plenary meeting in October as it hasn’t done enough to implement the action plan.

Indian officials declined to comment on the matter.

However, diplomats from both European nations contended that there has been a softening of the US position on Pakistan’s case at FATF, and they attributed this to Washington’s hope that Islamabad will play a role in arranging a deal with the Taliban. Such a deal is crucial for US plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, preferably before the American presidential election later this year.

“It seems the US is trying to encourage Pakistan to help in Afghanistan by going softer at FATF,” said the diplomat from the second European nation, who also declined to be named.

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