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FATF meets today to discuss proposal to put Pakistan on grey-list

PARIS: The week-long meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global anti-money laundering body, begins today here with a proposal on its agenda to include Pakistan on a watch-list of countries having failed to combat terrorist financing.

The meetings of FATF that begins today will continue till February 23 to discuss important issues to protect the integrity of the global financial system and contribute to security. It would also take up a motion put forward by the United States and its allies to put Pakistan on the watch-list.

Almost 700 delegations from around the globe including United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other institutions will take part in the meetings.

Earlier this week, the United States (US) said the international community has concerns about the government of Pakistan not rectifying deficiencies in the implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism strategies.

In response to a question about a US motion to put Pakistan on a global terrorist financing watch-list with an anti-money laundering monitoring group, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauret said: “There’s a plenary session that’s planned for that.”

“This is basically the international community has this sort of longstanding, well, concern when it comes to the Government of Pakistan about what we consider to be deficiencies in the implementation of anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism, and other types of issues similar to that.”

The US along with its European allies has put forward a motion to put Pakistan on a global terrorism-financing watch-list with Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Nauret explained the group is aimed to promote better measures to crack down on counter-terrorism or to work against terrorism and also money laundering as well.

To a question about Pakistan having introduced an ordinance that all individuals or organizations designated as a terrorist by the United Nations will be considered as a terrorist in Pakistan too, she said “I don’t have any information on that.”

President Donald Trump’s administration has been accusing Pakistan for assisting militants in Afghanistan and India but Pakistan had been categorically denying the accusations.

Previously, the country had been on the FATF watchlist from 2012 to 2015.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s Adviser for Finance and Economic Affairs Miftah Ismail, told Reuters that the United States and Britain put forward the motion several weeks ago, and later persuaded France and Germany to co-sponsor it.

“We are now working with the U.S., UK, Germany and France for the nomination to be withdrawn,” Ismail said, speaking by telephone from Europe. “We are also quite hopeful that even if the U.S. did not withdraw the nomination we will prevail and not be put on the watch-list.”

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