NEW DELHI: Pakistan is unlikey to get any reprieve from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as a sub-group of the global terror financing watchdog on Tuesday recommended the country’s continuation in the ‘Grey List’ for its failure to check terror funding. The final decision, however, will be taken on February 21, sources said on Tuesday.
The decision on Pakistan’s continuation in the list was taken at a meeting of the FATF’s International Co-
operation Review Group (ICRG), held at the ongoing Paris plenary. The FATF meeting is being held a week after an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan sentenced Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack and founder of LeT, to 11 years in two terror financing cases. The judgment came ostensibly to please the FATF and Western countries so that the country can exit the ‘Grey List’.India has been maintaining that Pakistan extends regular support to terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen, whose prime target is India, and has urged FATF to take action against Islamabad.
Pakistan also recently informed FATF that JeM founder Masood Azhar and his family were “missing”. It claimed there were only 16 UN designated terrorists in Pakistan, of which “seven are dead”. Of the nine who are alive, seven had applied to the UN for exemption from financial and travel restrictions.Pakistan needs 12 votes out of 39 to exit the ‘Grey List’ and move to ‘White List’. To avoid ‘Black List’, it needs support of three countries. In FATF’s last month meeting in Beijing, Pakistan received the support of Malaysia and Turkey, besides FATF current chair China.The FATF plenary held in October 2019 had noted that Pakistan addressed only five out of the 27 tasks. With agency inputs