New Delhi [India], Sep 12 (ANI): Media reports quoting a Pakistan official indicate that Pakistan's evaluation by the Asia Pacific Joint Group in Bangkok this week did not match up to its expectations. The unidentified official indicated that the group asked complex questions and did not seem to be satisfied.
FATF had placed Pakistan on its Gray List in June 2018, giving it a 15-month action plan to complete implementation of a 27-point action plan, failing which the country could be placed in the Black List.
In August 2019, a subsidiary body of FATF, the Asia Pacific Group placed Pakistan in the Enhanced Follow Up List for failure to meet its standards. On 40 compliance parameters, Pakistan was non-compliant on 30. On 11 effectiveness parameters, Pakistan was adjudged as Low on 10.
Pakistan has been under the FATF radar for its complicity towards terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Haqqani Network, among others. In addition, proscribed terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Azhar Masood are either regularly seen seeking donations and volunteers for armed rebellions in India, or making calls for jihad in Kashmir from the inner recesses of GHQ Rawalpindi.
The FATF in June, gave a stern message to Pakistan to expedite its action plan for curbing terror financing by October or face the prospect of getting blacklisted, which could aggravate problems for its low growth, high inflation economy.
In the run-up to the FATF Plenary scheduled to be held in Paris from October 13 to 18 where Pakistan's compliance with the action plan will be assessed, Islamabad has been engaged in hectic lobbying in a last-ditch bid to influence the outcome in its favour.
In addition, Prime Minister Imran Khan will meet leaders from Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey, France, Germany, Britain, and Canada on the sidelines of 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York from September 17 to 20.
Khan's meetings have also been proposed with the leaders of Indonesia, Australia, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, the United States, Mexico, and Argentina to muster support on issues related to FATF and grey-listing process.
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is also scheduled to seek support from Kuwait, Sweden, South Korea, China, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Russia, Greece Austria, Spain, Luxembourg, Ireland, Brazil, and other countries on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Under the FATF action plan, Pakistan has nothing substantial to show by way of terror-related seizures in the list of over 900 seized properties of various terror organisations. Nor were formal terror-financing cases lodged or investigations completed since February 2018.
Thus, Pakistan has been largely non-compliant on all parameters stipulated by the FATF even though media reports in Pakistan seem to indicate that the country has reason to hope that things will change due to the Prime Minister fronting the information blitz. The reality, it appears is different to what Pakistan is being told by its leaders. (ANI)