FATF and Pakistan – Blogs and Columns – Daily Notable
Financial action task force (FATF) was formed 1989 in France by a group of seven developed countries America, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. The group now consists of 39 members including two organizations The Gulf Corporation Council and the European Council.
The purpose for the formation of this force was to establish a suitable policy to combat money laundering. FATF holds three meetings annually in February, June and October to review the implementation of its forty recommendations made against terrorism and money laundering.
Countries are categorized in three lists on basis of their performance known as White List, Grey List and Black List. White list includes countries that fully comply with FATF points. Whereas the Greylist includes countries as a warning that lack in complying FATF points.
If the implementation still remains zero the grey list countries are then added to the Black List.
The Grey List countries have a negative impact on their economy, import-export and security measures. From 2012 to 2015 Pakistan was placed in grey list and in June 2018 Pakistan was added for the second time in grey list.
Pakistan was given task consists on 27 points to get out of grey list. Since then, Pakistan is taking measures in all aspects to complete all points. FATF meeting was held in February 2021 and decided to keep Pakistan in grey list until June 2021. FATF fully appreciated the actions taken by Pakistan.
At that time India has put efforts to put Pakistan in blacklist but completely failed due to the votes of China, Malaysia and Turkey in Pakistan’s favor as three votes are enough to get out of the blacklist.
There was a lot of hope that Pakistan will come out of grey list in FATF’s meeting held in June 2021. As Foreign minister Mr. Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan implemented FATF’s action plan 26 points out of 27. Then there is no reason to keep Pakistan on FATF grey list.
Significant progress has also made on last 27th point. Pakistan had made major legal reforms to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. In this regard Pakistan has introduced bills for anti-corruption and anti-terror legislation. In recent meeting of FATF held in June 2021 Pakistan remained in grey list.
FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer announced that Pakistan will remain under increased monitoring of the watchdog.
He said “Pakistan must improve their investigations and prosecutions of all groups and entities financing terrorists and their associates and show [that] penalties by courts are effective. As soon as Pakistan shows it has completed these items, FATF will verify and members of FATF will vote”.
As soon as the findings came Federal minister Mr. Hamad Azhar held a Press conference and explained that all member countries review measures taken by one country.
He ensured that Pakistan is not in the same condition as it was years ago. Remarks by Foreign Minister Mr. Shah Mehmood Qureshi raise so many questions as he stated that “there is no room to keep Pakistan in Grey list and it seems FATF is under some kind of political pressure”.
As India always link Pakistan with terrorism and continuously tries to bring negative image of Pakistan in World. On the other hand, United States has once again demanding Do More from Pakistan but in recent time Pakistan has said NO More.
Pakistan has completed major task assigned by FATF but still keeping Pakistan in grey list for more measures reflects that there is political pressure on FATF as well.