Pakistan in denial mode after inclusion into 'terror' list

Pakistan in denial mode after inclusion into 'terror' list

Pakistan in denial mode after inclusion into 'terror' list

Bosnia and Herzegovina was removed from the FATF list, judged to be in compliance with efforts to counter money laundering and terror financing.

The meeting concluded Friday, February 23, without any explicit measures announced against Pakistan with respect to terrorism financing.

The FATF's decision making body, the FATF Plenary, meets three times per year.

Earlier in the day, Foreign Office Spokesman Muhammad Faisal told media during the weekly briefing that United States and UK jointly submitted a letter to the FATF nominating Pakistan for placement in the "Grey List" with France and Germany subsequently joined this nomination.

The FATF move comes days after reports that Pakistan had been given a three-month reprieve before being placed on the list. The FATF urgently expects Iran to proceed swiftly in the reform path to ensure that it addresses all of the remaining items in its Action Plan by completing and implementing the necessary AML/CFT reforms, in particular passing the necessary legislation.

However, a top official privy to the development confirmed to Dawn that the U.S. succeeded in calling a second vote on Thursday night for its motion to "grey list" Pakistan at the FATF plenary meeting during which China and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia changed their earlier stance by remaining silent.

Similar claims were also reported by Reuters, a London-based news agency.

But the list of jurisdictions identified to have strategic AML/CFT deficiencies does not include Pakistan and instead lists Ethiopia, Iraq, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu and Yemen.

Pakistan was previously on the FATF watchlist from 2012 to 2015.

In an interview to a private TV channel, Ismail said Pakistan was made a "target of politics" despite the country's tangible efforts to crack down on money laundering and terror financing.

Pakistan fears the move will widen the country's global isolation, damage its already emaciated economy, hurt its banking sector and hinder its access to worldwide markets as it prepares to repay about US$3 billion (S$4 billion) in debt this summer. Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which were the other objectors, caved in when they found China not pursuing it.

Earlier in the week China, Turkey, and the Gulf Cooperation Council were opposing the US-led move against Pakistan but by Thursday night both China and Saudi Arabia dropped their opposition.

The case against Pakistan was that it had failed to act against outfits like UN-banned terror groups Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its affiliate, the Falah-i-Insaaniyat Foundation.

The June timetable gives Pakistan an opportunity to object to the FATF designation, though Pakistani officials have so far refused comment on the matter, The White House has made multiple statements that they are not satisfied with Pakistan.

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