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Pakistan Added To Watch List On Global Terror Financing

Santiago Otamendi, president of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
Santiago Otamendi, president of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

A global money-laundering watchdog will place Pakistan back on its terrorism financing “gray” monitoring list to pressure Islamabad to halt alleged support for militant groups, Pakistani officials say.

Officials were quoted as saying on June 28 that the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) took the decision as part of a weeklong meeting under way in Paris.

FATF will make a formal announcement on June 29, Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal said, adding that the body in February had informed Pakistan that it would be returned to the list this month.

“It was also agreed in February that an action plan would be negotiated between Pakistan and FATF members by June. This has been done. Pakistan will work toward effective implementation of the action plan, while staying in the gray list,” Faisal added.

The move follows a push by the U.S. and European allies to get Islamabad to close financing loopholes to terrorist groups.

Pakistan has also been under pressure to stop offering safe haven to militants blamed for attacks in Afghanistan.

Islamabad denies the charge, insisting that it is clamping down on extremist groups and their financing.

FATF, which comprises 35 member states and two regional organizations, discourages banks and global investors from lending money to a country put on its gray list.

But Pakistan still managed to negotiate an International Monetary Fund bailout package and continued to tap the global bond market when it was included on the monitoring list from 2012 to 2015, according to Bloomberg.

The placement on the gray list could also be a precursor to Pakistan’s eventual addition onto FATF’s black list, which would mean further sanctions.

With reporting by dpa, Dawn, AP, and Bloomberg
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