Islamabad/Paris, Oct 14 (IANS) The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will on Monday discuss steps taken by Pakistan to stop money laundering and terrorist financing in its plenary meeting slated to begin in the French capital of Paris.
The Pakistani delegation, headed by Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar, has reached Paris to attend a crucial two-day session.
Representatives of more than 200 countries and organisations are participating in the meeting that will continue till 18 October.
In case, the FATF is satisfied with the steps taken by Pakistan, the procedure to remove it from the grey list can start. However, the body may consider steps to include Pakistan in its black list in case Islamabad fails to how it has taken sufficient measure to curb the menace.
However, the country hopes that with the support of “friendly” countries — China, Malaysia, Turkey — Islamabad will manage to avoid being blacklisted and would more likely stay in the grey list.
According to sources, the FATF meeting would discuss a report on the steps taken by Pakistan till April 2019 and a decision would be made on whether to exclude Islamabad from the intergovernmental organisation’s grey list, reports Geo News.
Measures taken by Pakistan to prevent terrorist financing will also be reviewed in the FATF meeting. As per Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance and Revenue, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Islamabad had completed 20 of the steps.
Sources, however, said Pakistan had already implemented most of the FATF measures, such as banning terrorist organisations.
In addition, it had also taken steps to seize the properties of terrorists and stopped them from doing business.
Last week, the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) published its long-awaited 228-page report, titled “Mutual Evaluation Report 2019”, which said that Pakistan has largely but partially complied with 36 of the 40 parameters set by the FATF at the time of the country’s inclusion in the grey list.
Based on the technical compliance ratings, the APG report showed that Pakistan had fully complied with only one parameter, largely complied with nine, and partially complied with 26 of the 40 parameters.
The FATF review had placed Pakistan into grey list in June 2018 and had given 27 action plans till September 2019 to comply for coming out from the grey list.
This upcoming review of the FATF meeting in Paris will now decide the fate of the country with three possibilities — excluding it from grey and put into green list, continuing it into grey list with extended period of nine to 12 months and thirdly in worst case scenario putting the country into blacklist, having dire consequences for the country’s economy.