The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has retained kept Pakistan on its grey list and added its ally Turkey to the list, in a double blow for Islamabad which depended on Ankara’s support to avoid entry into the blacklist earlier. Jordan and Mali were also added to the grey list.
FATF denied that it acted under Indian pressure to keep Pakistan in the grey list. Pakistan “needs to further demonstrate that investigation and prosecution of proscribed terrorists and terror groups is being seriously pursued,” said FATF chief Marcus Pleyer at a news conference at the end of FATF plenary.
“On the action plan from 2019, we require Pakistan to demonstrate that terrorist financing investigators are targeting UN proscribed senior leaders and commanders,” Pleyer said. “Pakistan has already completed 30 out of 34 action points. This shows the clear commitment of the Pakistan government. So there was no discussion on blacklisting. The government is cooperating with FATF and we urged it to very quickly address the remaining four items as soon as possible,” he said.
Pleyer denied that Indian pressure led to Pakistan’s retention on the grey list. “FATF is a technical body and we take our decisions by consensus. It is not one country but 39 jurisdictions and the decision is taken by consensus on a jurisdiction to be put under increased monitoring,” Pleyer said when asked if India played a role in keeping Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018.
Since June, FATF has been focusing on Pakistan’s money laundering deficiencies after the Asia Pacific group found a number of serious anomalies.The plenary was attended by delegates of the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units among others. China, Turkey and Malaysia have been helping Pakistan to prevent its blacklisting.
Pakistan’s inclusion in the grey list has adversely impacted that country’s prospects of obtaining financial assistance from world bodies such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and Asia Development Bank. FATF had put Turkey on notice two years ago. Although Turkey understood “the risks it faces from money laundering and terrorist financing” there were “serious shortcomings,” FATF said. It also expressed concern about the current evolving money laundering and terrorist financing risk environment in Afghanistan. “We affirm recent UNSC resolutions on situation Afghanistan. We demand that country not be used to plan or finance terrorist acts,” Pleyer said.