The Pakistan Foreign Office on Wednesday confirmed that the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental body that sets standards for fighting illicit finance globally, will add the country to a watchlist of nations not doing enough to clamp down on financial operations of terrorists and terrorist groups, Dawn reported.
“Pakistan will be assigned to the ‘grey list’ in June, once an action plan has been mutually negotiated,” the newspaper quoted Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Muhammad Faisal as saying. He, however, dismissed reports about the possibility of Pakistan’s addition to the international watchdog’s blacklist, The Tribune reported. “The FATF website clearly demarcates the countries in ‘black’ list, as those who are non-cooperative.”
The global organisation has highlighted certain problems with Pakistan’s anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing mechanisms, Faisal admitted, but claimed that Pakistan had already implemented steps to address these problems.
Pakistan passed a presidential ordinance days before the meeting of the Financial Action Task Force, amending the anti-terror law to include all United Nations-listed individuals and groups designated as terrorists. The country’s counter-terrorism forces even launched a massive crackdown against three entities linked to Jamaat-ud-Dawah leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the mastermind of the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai in 2008.
The task force decided to name Pakistan in the “grey list” at its plenary meeting in Paris on February 23 after China withdrew its objection to the motion that the United States had introduced. China, which had initially opposed the motion, withdrew its objection reportedly because of India’s decision to support its bid for a leadership role at the task force.