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Despite all out back-channel efforts, why Pak will remain in the grey list

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New Delhi, Oct 12: The approach by the United States would be key at the plenary and sub-group meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to be held between October 21 and 23.

Pakistan would require the support of 12 members to get out of the grey list. In this context the approach by the US would be extremely crucial. However, the chances of Pakistan being downgraded to the blacklist is remote owing to the fact that it has the support of China, Turkey and Malaysia. Pakistan needs the support of just three members to stay out of the blacklist.

Despite all out back-channel efforts, why Pak will remain in the grey list

To ensure that it gets the backing of the United States, Pakistan has appointed a lobbying firm Linden Strategies to push its case with the Trump administration.

FATF all set to decide on Pakistan's grey list status in virtual meeting

On its website, Linden Strategies says that it is a government relations and business development firm providing strategic analysis and advisory to domestic and international clients, including sovereign nations. Our team of experts has a vast wealth of experience across government and commercial enterprise and our clients span the globe. We specialise in government relations, strategic communications, business advisory, and political consulting, the firm also says along with the tagline, 'complex issues. Discrete strategies. Winning results.'

Sources tell OneIndia that despite all these efforts Pakistan will remain in the grey list.

This is because its 2019 mutual evaluation report says that there is a lot yet to be complied with. Pakistan is yet to comply with all the 27 points.

Seeking to wriggle out of the FATF's grey list, debt-ridden Pakistan in August imposed financial sanctions on 88 banned terror groups and their leaders, including 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

The virtual FATF plenary scheduled for October 21-23 will decide if Pakistan should be excluded from its grey list, based on a review of Islamabad's performance to meet global commitments and standards on fight against money laundering and terror financing (ML&TF), the Dawn News reported.

The meeting was earlier scheduled in June but Islamabad got an unexpected breather after the global watchdog against financial crimes temporarily postponed all mutual evaluations and follow-up deadlines in the wake of grave health risk following COVID-19 pandemic, it said.

The agency also put a general pause in the review process, thus giving additional four months to Pakistan to meet the requirements.

In February, the FATF gave Pakistan, which missed 13 targets, a four-month grace period to complete its 27-point action plan against ML&TF committed with the international community.

In its third plenary held virtually in June, the FATF decided to keep Pakistan in the grey list as Islamabad failed to check flow of money to terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

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    With Pakistan's continuation in the 'grey list', it is increasingly becoming difficult for the country to get financial aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union, thus further enhancing problems for the nation which is in a precarious financial situation.

    (With agency inputs)

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