New Delhi: Pakistan, known for the promotion of terrorism, has got a sigh of relief. According to top diplomatic sources, the country is only “one step away” from being removed from the FATF’s grey list—the international supervisory body that monitors money laundering, terror financing, and other threats to global financial networks.
Sources said Pakistan is likely to get an ‘on-site visit’ to exit the grey list. The International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is likely to visit Pakistan in August this year given that the country has fulfilled over 30 of the 34 conditions put forward by the agency.
Grey listing means that a country has been listed by FATF and is being monitored and checked on its progress on anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing measures. The other name for “grey list” is “increased monitoring list”.
Besides Pakistan, there are 23 countries that fall into the grey list category, such as Syria, Turkey, Myanmar, Philippines, South Sudan, Uganda, Yemen, and so on.
In June 2021, after the plenary session, FATF emphasised that Pakistan needs to “investigate and prosecute” senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terror groups, including Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed, and its operational commander, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. The agency gave Pakistan time till October 2021 to meet the remaining conditions of compliance.
Pakistan has been trying to come out of the grey list by supporting all international agencies to overcome its economic and political insecurity. Pakistan was put on the FATF grey list in June 2018.
The FATF was set up in July 1989 by a G-7 Summit in Paris with the aim of combating money laundering. After the 9/11 attacks, the FATF in October 2001 extended its consent to act on terrorist financing, and in April 2012, it decided to check the financing of weapons of mass destruction.