Followed by being in an 'enhanced blacklist' by the financial watchdog FATF (Financial Action Task Force), a team from Pakistan has left for Bangkok for a face to face meeting with the FATF for a final evaluation of its anti-money laundering and terror-financing report. The team includes 20 members led by Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhardia and a few members from the Federal Investigation Agency, State Bank of Pakistan, Federal Board of Revenue, Anti Narcotics Force and intelligent agencies.
As reported by the media, initial talks will be held on Sunday with FATF and the meeting will officially commence on Monday. This meeting is supposed to continue till September 13 and will decide whether Pakistan's name remains on the 'grey list' or it would be added to the 'blacklist', according to sources from Foreign Ministry, if Pakistan will stay on the greylist, or is blacklisted, it will be facing a financial downgrade and restrictions on its markets. It will also have a tough time managing capital inflows from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and other agencies.
The meeting will also have a discussion over including Pakistan's name in the enhanced expedited list by the APG. Asia Pacific Group (APG) is the regional affiliate of the FATF and its decisions have a large bearing on the organization’s decisions on Pakistan. This asserts that Pakistan would be required to submit follow-up reports to the APG. 10 important questions also to be provided by Pakistan related to curbing money laundering and terrorism financing. Details of punishment handed over to those involved in terrorism financing had also been sought, after the APG on August 23 place Pakistan under its enhanced monitoring mechanism after it failed to comply with 11 recommendations out of 40.
If Pakistan will stay on the greylist or is blacklisted, it will be facing a financial downgrade and restrictions on its markets. It will also have a tough time managing capital inflows from IMF (International Monetary Fund) and other agencies, This would also include servicing its debt that adds up to about 25% of the government’s revenues at present. Imran Kahn-led Pakistan was earlier placed in grey-list by the FATF after mounting pressure from the US, France, Germany, UK over its lack of action against terror-funding.
(With inputs from PTI)