This Article is From Oct 21, 2022

Pakistan Taken Off Global Watchdog's 'Grey' List For Terror Financing

Being on the grey list meant Pakistan found it tough to get aid from international funds

New Delhi:

Four years after it was put on the "grey list" of a global watchdog for financing terrorism and money laundering, Pakistan's name has finally been struck off it.

The watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), said Pakistan has strengthened its anti-money laundering setup and worked on combating terror financing, besides addressing technical deficiencies.

Being on the grey list meant Pakistan found it tough to get aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union. That exacerbated its inflation and infrastructure-related problems, as these bodies ran extra checks before giving any money to Islamabad.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif welcomed the move. "Pakistan exiting the FATF grey list is a vindication of our determined and sustained efforts over the years. I would like to congratulate our civil and military leadership as well as all institutions whose hard work led to today's success. Aap sab ko bohat bohat Mubarak," he said in a tweet.

Nicaragua has also been removed from the grey list, while Myanmar has been put on the more severe, black list. Russia has been "sidelined" owing to its war on Ukraine. 

India, one of 39 members of the FATF that includes the UK and US, says Pakistan continues to harbour terrorists and funds their organisations despite the matter being raised on international platforms, such as the UN.

The decision to remove Pakistan from the list came during the FATF's meeting in Paris that began on October 18 and ended on the 21st. New president T Raja Kumar made the announcment.

The watchdog had charted an action plan of 34 points for Pakistan, 27 related to terror financing, seven to money laundering. There were signs of Pakistan's removal in June, when the FATF said in a statement at its plenary: "Pakistan has substantially completed its two action plans". An on-site verification was pending.

The FATF, established in 1989, is mandated to work against threats to international financial systems. Its 39 members include two regional organisations — the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council.