ISLAMABAD: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided not to put Pakistan on terror-financing watch list on an immediate basis. The country will, however, be on the list from June this year.
The decision was made today, at the end of 5-day long annual FATF conference in Paris.
Islamabad believes the decision was politically motivated that may affect its future cooperation.
Despite initially agreeing to Pakistan’s viewpoint, the FATF Plenary decided to place the country on the Grey List from June.
The federal government, who had earlier claimed a victory in FATF meeting, now says that the country’s economy will not be hurt with this move.
Pakistan was previously on the Grey List from 2012 to 2015.
The federal government does not see any major impact of the FATF’s decision on its economy and the country’s de-facto finance minister said that during 2012 to 2015 period, Pakistan signed agreements with the International Monetary Fund and issued sovereign bonds in international capital markets.
The US had moved a motion in FATF to put Pakistan on terror-financing watch list and had pushed Germany, UK and France to follow.
They were to decide on the US motion to include Pakistan in the grey list of countries lagging behind regarding the terrorist funding regulations. The motion was supported by Britain, France, and Germany.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said in a tweet that Pakistan’s efforts “have paid (off)” on the said motion.
He suggested that there was “no consensus for nominating Pakistan.”
He also claimed that the meeting considered a “three months pause” and asked the Asia Pacific Group, which is the part of the global watchdog, to take into consideration “another report in June.”
“Grateful to friends who helped,” the minister added.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan has already submitted a report regarding the efforts it has made in preventing terrorist financing.
Nonetheless, the US put forth the said resolution before Pakistan’s report could be discussed in the meeting.
In the meanwhile, the FM is in Russia on a four-day official visit to hold talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov on the bilateral relations as well as to discuss to the regional and international issues.