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FATF plenary begins, Pak’s actions to be reviewed

A final decision on whether Pakistan should remain in the ‘greylist’ will be taken on completion of the FATF Plenary.

The three-day virtual Plenary session of the Financial Action Task Force, during which Pakistan’s performance in terms of measures taken against money laundering and terror funding will be reviewed once again, commenced on Monday.

Pakistan has been in the FATF’s ‘greylist’ since June 2018 when it was presented with a 27-point action plan. “Given the lack of full compliance on the part of Pakistan in certain key areas related to terror funding, it is likely to remain in the ‘greylist’,” said a government official.

During the last FATF plenary in October 2020, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistan was given an extension for full compliance with the recommendations till the next session. It had not fully complied with six of the 27 directives, while the other obligations were largely met.

Pakistan’s inaction against several organisations linked to banned terror outfits and global terrorists such as Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Hafiz Saeed and its operations chief Zaki Ur Rahman Lakhvi impacted the FATF decision.

India has also been highlighting the failure on Pakistan’s part to take action against those involved in the 26/11 Mumbai and Pulwama attacks. During the current FATF proceedings, a recent decision of the Pakistan’s Supreme Court to release the four persons accused of killing US journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002 may also considered.

A final decision on whether Pakistan should remain in the ‘greylist’ will be declared on completion of the FATF Plenary, which may also decide on a on-site visit for verification of the steps taken against money laundering and terror funding.

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