‘Staying on FATF Grey List is hardly cause for celebration.’

Instead of seeking to get off terror watch lists, Imran Khan’s Naya Pakistan is celebrating that Pakistan has remained on the FATF Grey list. Till some years back, the government’s efforts were aimed at getting Pakistan off the FATF, not celebrating staying on the list!

At the latest meeting of the UN mandated Financial Action Task Force (FATF) held on Friday October 18, it was announced that Pakistan would remain on the grey list till February 2020.

“The task force directed Islamabad to take more measures for complete elimination of terror financing and money laundering while expressing serious concerns over the lack of progress in addressing terror financing risks. “The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2020,” it said in its statement. “Otherwise, should significant and sustainable progress not be made across the full range of its action plan by the next Plenary, the FATF will take action.”

Further, FATF expressed “serious concerns with the overall lack of progress by Pakistan to address its TF risks, including remaining deficiencies in demonstrating a sufficient understanding of Pakistan’s transnational TF risks, and more broadly, Pakistan’s failure to complete its action plan in line with the agreed timelines and in light of the TF risks emanating from the jurisdiction,” the statement read. “To date, Pakistan has only largely addressed five of 27 action items, with varying levels of progress made on the rest of the action plan. “The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2020.”

Instead of being concerned about remaining on the grey list and the fear of being added to the blacklist, Pakistan’s leaders and business elite appear to believe in the Pakistan army’s ability to resolve their problems. On October 2nd, General Bajwa informed the group of business leaders who met him that “he was confident that Pakistan would stave off the blacklist and be shifted from the current ‘grey’ to the normal category in the next review.”

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