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Fearing blacklisting, Pak PM plans to meet FATF leaders

NEW DELHI: Pakistan, after failing to satisfy the Asia Pacific Group (APG) under Financi al Action Task Force (FATF) during recent meetings, has planned to lobby at leadership level of FATF countries over the next two weeks ahead of the group’s mid-October meet that will take a call on blacklisting the country.

Fearing that the October meet could blacklist Pakistan, PM Imran Khan is planning to meet leaders of several FATF states in New York over the next two weeks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, ET has reliably learnt. He could also utilise the opportunity to focus on Kashmir issue after failing to garner international support on his narrative over the past month. This list of proposed meetings includes countries from Asia, Europe and Africa.

Simultaneously, Pakistan’s foreign minister also plans to meet his counterparts from FATF states in New York with same objective.

Pakistan on Monday submitted detailed answers to 125 questions posed by the FATF on moves taken for anti-money laundering and combat financing of terrorism.

The report was submitted by Pakistan’s minister for economic affairs, Hammad Azhar, who is heading the 15-member delegation to Bangkok for the FATF negotiations, which will continue till Friday.

The APG of the FATF began its 4- day meeting on Monday in Bangkok to review the compliance report of Pakistan.

The APG has sought answers for 125 questions from Pakistan to take the country out of the Greylist. APG, as per the FATF’s procedures, would present its report in the FATF Plenary and Working Group meetings scheduled for October 13-18 in Paris.

Pakistan has been under the FATF radar for its complicity with terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, among others. Besides, terrorists like Hafiz Saeed are regularly seen ranting anti-India rhetoric and collecting “donations.”

On August 22, the APG had placed Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (Blacklist) for its failure to meet standards.

In its 22nd annual meeting held in Canberra, the APG found Pakistan was non-compliant on 32 of the 40 compliance parameters of terror financing and money laundering.

The Pakistani delegation, headed by State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir, had then briefed the APG on steps taken for improving Pakistan’s Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework as well as the steps for ensuring effective implementation of the FATF action plan.

In June, the FATF had given Pakistan four months (till October) to improve its counter-terror financing operations in accordance with the agreed plan.

Source: Economic Times