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Pakistan in global terror-financing wa­t­ch list effective from June

In a major political and economic blow to Pakistan, the Financi­a­l Action Task Force has added the country’s name to the gr­ey list of terror-financing wa­t­c­h list effective from June.

Published: 24th February 2018 02:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th February 2018 04:28 PM   |  A+A-

2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed (File | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: In a major political and economic blow to Pakistan, the Financi­a­l Action Task Force (FATF) has added the country’s name to the gr­ey list of terror-financing wa­t­c­h list effective from June.While the official statement at the end of the task force’s meeting on Friday makes no mention of Pakistan, sources say it indeed is on the grey list, which would make it harder for the country’s banks to handle international transactions and rattle foreign investors and companies. It would also make it more expensive to get and repay loans from international lenders like the IMF and the World Bank.

The decision comes da­­ys after jubilant claims by Pak­i­stan’s foreign minister Khawaja Asif that Pakistan had been given a three-month reprieve following objections from China, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council and Turkey.But China and Saudi Arabia withdrew their objections late Thursday. Weeks ea­rlier, Islamabad had placed Hafiz Saeed and other assorted radical persons and outfits on their terr­orist wa­tch list to ease increasing US pre­s­s­ure to do more against ter­rorists.

“It’s time we stopped living in denial,” Tariq Hussain, a Lahore based journalist, told TNIE. “Apart from it being a huge international embarrassment, this will cripple us economically, and also impact the elections expected later this year. It also comes at a time when our aid from our er­s­twhile ally, the US, has all but dr­ied up, and our balance of payments has increased manifold. The government now needs to g­et its act together because, the way things are going, we could soon be declared a terror state.”Pakistan was previously on the list for three years until 2015 by the FATF, which sets global standards for fighting illicit finance and recommends measures to stem terrorist funding.

How the US turned the screws

  • US piloted a resolution ag­a­i­nst Pakistan to put it in the gl­­obal terror finance watch list

  • Pakistan jumped the gun on Feb 21, claiming it had escaped the FATF grey list; thanked China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia representing the Gulf Cooperation Council for help

  • The US worked on all three countries; China was the last to fall in line on Friday

  • Pakistan though gets three-month window as the list will be effective from June

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