Pakistan fears blacklisting by FATF due to 'lobbying by India'

Pakistan could be blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) due to “lobbying by India”, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said as he estimated that the country could suffer USD 10 billion loss annually if it remains on the watchdog’s grey list.

In June last year, the Paris-based FATF had placed Pakistan on the ‘grey list’ of countries whose domestic laws are considered “weak to tackle the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing”.

The FATF is working to curb “terrorism financing and money laundering” and has asked Pakistan to reassess the operation of “banned terrorist outfits in the country”.

Pakistan is under intense international pressure to rein in groups like the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) after the Pulwama attack.

“The Foreign Office is calculating the annual loss if Pakistan is pushed in the blacklist by the FATF as India is lobbying for this,” Foreign Minister Qureshi told reporters at the Governor’s House here on Monday evening.

He said the government has calculated that Pakistan will face USD 10 billion loss annually if it remains on the ‘grey list’.

A group of experts from the FATF recently visited Pakistan to review whether Islamabad has made enough progress on global standards against financial crimes to warrant its exclusion from the watchdog’s ‘grey list’.

The visiting team members reportedly raised questions over specific and on-ground actions against each of the eight organisations proscribed under international requirements. It wanted break-up of suspected transaction report against each banned outfit and specific actions taken against each entity. PTI