Islamabad: In a major reprieve for Pakistan, the global terrorist-financing watchdog FATF announced the country’s removal from its grey list, saying the South Asian country, often described by India as the fountainhead of international terrorism, had largely completed its action plans on anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism. The exit from the grey or increased monitoring list is expected to allow Pakistan access to more foreign loans and aid at a time its economy remains in dire straits.
Announcing the decision after the plenary meeting in Paris, FATF chief T Raja Kumar welcomed Pakistan’s “significant progress” in improving its anti-money laundering/ combating of financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime and also the “high-level commitment” by the Pakistan leadership to the ongoing reforms for checking money laundering and terrorism-financing. He said an inspection team visited Pakistan to verify the action taken and it had returned satisfied.
The Paris-based agency had in June this year agreed to an onsite evaluation in a sign that it was considering removing Pakistan from the grey list. The onsite visit is allowed only when the agency is convinced that the action plans have been substantially completed. There was no immediate reaction by the Indian authorities to the development. Sources said though this was expected after the onsite visit in August. Pakistan had been on the FATF grey list since June 2018.