Pakistan managed to stay on anti-terror finance watchdog FATF’s “Grey List”, avoiding the black list by citing action taken against terror orgnisations, sources said today. Islamabad, sources said, was trying to escape any listing altogether, against New Delhi’s efforts to push it to the black list. The final decision will be taken on Friday after the week-long plenary session.
Blacklisting by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force could have been a blow for Pakistan’s economic reforms programme. A place in the black list – where Iran currently is — incurs severe economic sanctions, the International Monetary Fund had said in an internal report. It would have led to a free on investments and other capital inflows, including funding by the IMF.
This time it avoided the black list with the support of Turkey and Malaysia, whose leaders had announced their plan to support Islamabad. Support of three nations is needed to avoid the black list.
But if Pakistan is not removed from the grey list by April, it may automatically slide into the black list.
The 39-member FATF met in Paris today amid a week-long plenary to discuss the risk rating for Pakistan and Iran. In October last year, FATF had decided to keep Pakistan on its ‘Grey’ list for failure to curb channelling of funds to terror groups Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and others.
New Delhi has maintained that Islamabad extends regular support to terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen and has urged FATF to take action.
Hopes of a black-listing were raised yesterday after the FATF, without naming Pakistan, said several terrorist groups were still benefitting from “funds raised through illegal activities and from supporters worldwide”.
Pakistan’s continuation in the grey list indicates a failure of its diplomatic efforts as well as last minute action against terror groups.
Last week, a court in Pakistan sentenced Hafiz Saeed – founder of Lashkar-e Taiba and the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack — to 11 years in jail in two cases related to financing of terror.