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Sunday 5 April 2020

Pakistan lobby fails; FATF retains terror sponsor in grey list

Pakistan needs 12 out of 39 votes to come out of the FATF grey list, which its allies China, Turkey and Malaysia are not likely to shore up

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The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to keep Pakistan on its grey list in the plenary of the global financial anti-terror watchdog that is underway in Paris since Sunday. This, despite Pakistan ‘s allies Turkey and Malaysia supporting it in the ongoing meet.

Sirf News had predicted that while Pakistani lobbying will save it from getting pushed to the blacklist, it will continue to be in the FATF grey list. This is of course not the final decision of the global anti-terror body. It will take a final call on the issue on Friday.

The International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG), a part of the FATF, was studying Islamabad’s claimed measures to curb terror funding.

Pakistan needs at least 12 out of 39 votes at the FATF meeting to move out of the grey list. China, Turkey and Malaysia are most likely to fail in trying to shore up that number for their ally. So, the grey-list status of Pakistan is going to stay for the next two or three years, said diplomatic sources.

Pakistan acquired this dubious distinction in June 2018. The FATF had warned it to stop funding terrorist activities and indulging in related money laundering by October 2019 or be blacklisted. Desperate to prove it’s clean, Islamabad submitted a 125-page report, excluding 500 pages of annexures, to show what measures it had taken in six months to curb terror financing in the FATF review meeting held in Beijing in the period 21-23 January.

But the FATF found in its Mutual Evaluation Report of Pakistan in October 2019 that Pakistan had failed to take enough action to stop terror financing on its soil that continues to harbour militant outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Haqqani network and Jaish-e-Mohammed.

The FATF called this Pakistani failure “significant deficiencies” on the parameters of “effectiveness ratings” and “technical compliance ratings”. Islamabad got a “low” rating in 10 of the 11 parameters that make the “effectiveness ratings”, which tells how a country has performed while dealing with money laundering and combating the financing of terror. Its success was deemed “moderate” in “international cooperation” to fight terrorism.

So far in the plenary, Pakistan’s claim that it has arrested 38 district commanders of various terror outfits has not impressed the FATF, as none of the groups is UN-designated. It is doubtful that the sentencing of Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack of 2008, which the world takes seriously because Indians alone were not killed in the massacre, will impress the global body. For diplomats of various countries suspect Pakistan will release him the moment the sword of Damocles stops hanging over the Islamic country.

Coronavirus worldwide update, with focus on India, LIVE

Since the facts and figures related to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (nCOVID-19, COVID-19 or COVID) are changing by the minute, Sirf News has begun this blog to keep the readers updated with information coming from authentic sources

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