Islamabad: Pakistan today escaped from being placed on the watch-list of countries that have failed to combat terror financing and counter money laundering, state-run Pakistan Television reported.
According to the report, the development came at the conclusion of a key meeting of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global watchdog on money laundering and terrorist financing, in Paris.
Pakistan has not been placed on the so-called Grey List which includes names of the countries that have failed to take necessary action against terror financing or money laundering, the report said.
However, there has been no confirmation from the FATF, an intergovernmental body based in Paris that sets global standards for fighting illicit finance.
Earlier, several media reports suggested that a decision had been made to place Pakistan on the Grey List, prompting Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal to say that the outcome of the FATF meeting was “awaited”.
The reports followed after Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said on Tuesday that Pakistan was given a three-month period to address concerns of the FATF.
Pakistan Stock Exchange’s benchmark KSE-100 index plummeted as much as 615 points by mid-day in intra-day trading after reports of placing the country on the watch list surfaced. It recovered at the end but the panic was visible.
Pakistan was listed as grey in 2012 but was removed in 2015 after strenuous efforts to address the concerns of the group.
The US spearheaded the latest efforts to place Pakistan on the Grey List and was supported by the UK, France and Germany.
According to Pakistani officials, the move was politically motivated and it was through Islamabad’s friends like Turkey, China and Saudi Arabia that it was thwarted.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was set up in 1989 with a primary aim to set standards to combat money laundering, but in 2001 its mandate was expanded to include countering terror financing.
It can take action against any country by including a country in black or grey lists.