It will be interesting to observe Malaysia and Turkey during a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) later this month in Paris. Both the nations openly backed Pakistan at the UN General Assembly) last week and are expected to support Islamabad again.
The meeting of the global money laundering and terror financing organization is scheduled for October 13-18. It will decide whether Islamabad will continue to be in its ‘grey list’ or downgraded to the ‘blacklist’.
Pakistan has been on the ‘grey list’ of the FATF since June 2018, and it needs 15 of 36 votes to exit that list. Attracting such support will be an uphill task according to experts talking to EurAsian Times.
With the help of its traditional ally, China, Malaysia and Tukey, Pakistan managed to evade the FATF blacklist for the time being in its June meeting.
According to experts, Pakistan is pinning its hopes on China, Malaysia and Turkey after its PM, Imran Khan, failed to impress other FATF member-states during meetings with their leaders on the sidelines of UNGA.
PM Khan’s key purpose during his New York visit was not only to sell his narrative on the bone of contention – i.e. Kashmir but also to lobby hard from being blacklisted at next month’s FATF meet.
Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohammed’s strong remarks on Kashmir and equally strong support from Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan at the United Nations General Assembly indicates attempts by both the leaders to pacify their domestic supporters.
Pakistan had earlier failed to satisfy the Asia Pacific Group (APG) under the FATF during meetings earlier this month. The Pakistani government presented answers to 125 questions posed by the FATF on moves it had taken against money laundering and to combat terror financing.
The Asia Pacific Group, as per the FATF’s procedures, would present its report during the FATF Plenary and Working Group meetings. On August 22, the APG had put Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (blacklist) for its failure to meet standards.