Pakistan will be on terror finance watchlist from June 2018


"Pakistan has had a full-speed locomotive train coming its way since 2005, and despite dozens of meetings and warnings, Pakistan has failed to grasp the situation", Mosharraf Zaidi, a foreign-policy commentator and newspaper columnist, said in an interview on Friday. This is the reason why Pakistan was not mentioned in the final statement of the FATF.

The State Bank of Pakistan introduced a comprehensive set of new rules against money laundering and terror financing, officials said.

According to Pakistani officials, the move was politically motivated and it was through Islamabad's friends like Turkey, China and Saudi Arabia that it was thwarted.

In a message posted on Twitter, interior minister Ahsan Iqbal said there was no official intimation of FATF decision yet and "we should not speculate till official statement is released".

On Wednesday morning, Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja M Asif, tweeted that Pakistan had won a reprieve of three months to convince the global body not to put it on a "grey list" of countries where terror financing and black money laundering needed scrutiny.

An earlier discussion on the motion, held on Tuesday, saw opposition from China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, causing the motion to fail.

Alexandra Wijmenga-Daniel, a spokeswoman for the task force, known as F.A.T.F., would not comment on the news reports, saying only that "Pakistan was subject to F.A.T.F. monitoring in the past", and "exited this process in 2015".

Later in the evening, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Miftah Ismail, who has been leading Pakistan's diplomacy to defeat the motion sponsored by the USA went on air to confirm that the motion had indeed passed.

Addressing a weekly media briefing here on Friday, Dr Mohammed Faisal said on 20 January 2018 the United States and United Kingdom jointly submitted a letter to the FATF nominating Pakistan for placement in the "grey list".

He said in 2009 FATF identified "strategic deficiencies" in Pakistan's AML/CFT regime.

The US spearheaded the latest efforts to place Pakistan on the Grey List and was supported by the UK, France and Germany.

"The report urged Iran to continue addressing items on a now-expired action plan to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, citing an eight-item "to do" list that includes freezing terrorist assets and adequately criminalising terrorist financing, including by removing the exemption for designated groups 'attempting to end foreign occupation, colonialism and racism'". More specifically the concern was about Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation being allowed to operate in the country, and Hafiz Saeed being free to organise rallies and raise funds.

"The global community has consistently expressed its long-standing concerns about ongoing deficiencies in Pakistan's implementation of its anti-money laundering/counterterrorism finance regime", the spokesperson said. The diplomatic outreach was commenced to foil the Western bid believed to have been made at India's behest.