A crucial meeting of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) Joint Group (JG) to be held on January 14 to discuss Pakistan’s progress on the body’s 27-points action plan. Sources said recommendations of this meeting will decide if Pakistan stays on the grey list or manages to leave it.

FATF Joint Group members include US, UK, China, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, and Bhutan,
Bhutan was recently made part of the group upon India’s insistence, sources claim.

“There is some trouble for Pakistan though, as India has managed to have Bhutan – an Indian ally – secure a place in the meeting which would evaluate Pakistan’s progress,” sources privy to the development said.

The Joint Group would be submitting its assessment on the implementation of action plan to the International Cooperating Review Group of the FATF. This report will then be presented before the FATF plenary meeting. The FATF’s plenary meeting is to take place in the last week of February, 2021.

In the last plenary meeting of the FATF, Pakistan was found compliant on 21 out of the 27 negotiated action plan pointers. While FATF-related legislation was subjected to immense criticism by the country’s opposition, the government however went ahead with the legislation, claiming it was a matter of national security.

Sources privy to the development said that Pakistan has enforced anti-money laundering related regime to the satisfaction of the international financial monitoring body, and work on counter-terrorism financing is also under way.

Pakistan has demonstrated its ability to act against terror-linked elements and convict United Nations designated individuals, which includes the conviction of Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Yahya Mujahid, Abdur Rehman Makki and others.

Recently an Anti-Terror Court also issued arrest warrants for Masood Azhar. Pakistan’s civil and military leadership has time and again reiterated it would not tolerate any terror-related individuals to use its territory for their ill-gains.

India in the past has twice tried to get Pakistan blacklisted, however both times, due to Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts India’s proposal was shot down. Pakistan has been in the FATAF’s grey list since June 2018.

Anas Mallick is an international journalist who has been working as a field reporter for 7+ years now. With a focus on diplomacy, militancy, and conflict, Mallick's expertise involve Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. He tweets at @AnasMallick


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