Pakistan is likely to remain in the ‘grey list’ of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) due to it’s inability to fulfil six key obligations, officials said.
Notably, the FATF has given a total of 27 action plan obligations in order to clamp down on terror financing, but it has cleared only 21 and missed out on key tasks.
The Global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog will give its final verdict on Pakistan’s continuation on its grey list during the virtual plenary which will take place on October 21-23.
The key mandates on which Pakistan has failed to deliver are–action against all UN-designated terrorists like Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Azhar, Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Seed and the outfit’s operational commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, sudden disappearance of the names of more than 4,000 terrorists from its original list of 7,600 under Schedule IV of its Anti Terrorism Act.
The officials privy to the situation has said that Pakistan is likely to continue on that list.
This will become a major problem for Pakistan as it will become difficult for Islamabad to procure financial aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union.
Pakistan needed 12 votes out of 39 to exit the grey list and move to the white list. To avoid the blacklist, it needs the support of three countries. China, Turkey and Malaysia are its consistent supporters.
It is to be noted that North Korea and Iran are in the FATF blacklist.
According to international affairs experts, the FATF meeting will try to get Pakistan out of the gray list by neighboring China, Pakistan’s friendly country Turkey and Malaysia. It is believed that none of the 39 member countries will stand with Pakistan other than these three.
Pakistan needs the support of at least 12 countries to come out of the gray list. Pakistan is actively involved in this effort. Some diplomatic experts in the US and Paris have reported to the media that Pakistan has contracted lobbying firm Leiden Strategist based in Texas, USA, to gain support from other countries. It will be the job of this company to negotiate with the Trump administration and try to clear Pakistan’s path.
The main job of this firm is Sir Strategic Communication, Government Relations, Business Advisory, and Political Consulting.
Pakistan was first placed on the ‘grey list’ by the Paris-based watchdog in June 2018 and was given a plan of action to complete it by October 2019, or face the risk of being placed on the ‘Black List’ with Iran and North Korea.