Pakistan seeks US help to get off FATF grey list

Pakistan urges US to review its travel advisories for Pak and encourage investment. Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was in Washington last week and had expressed hope that the US would back its efforts to get it off the grey list at...

Pakistan seeks US help to get off FATF grey list
New Delhi: Pakistan is lobbying with the United States to remove it from the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organisation that combats terror financing and money laundering, which has impacted the country’s sagging economy.

Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was in Washington last week and had expressed hope that the US would back its efforts to get it off the grey list at FATF’s review meeting in Beijing this week.

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“This meeting is very important for us as it leads to a plenary meeting in Paris in April where the world body will decide whether Pakistan remains on the list or is taken off,” Qureshi said at a press meet in Washington on Friday. He also urged the US to review its travel advisories for Pakistan and encourage investment in the country.

“Please consider how you can help improve Pakistan’s exports, (and) increase our forex reserves…we need your guidance there too,” he said. “We also need your investment in the tourism industry.”

As quid pro quo Pakistan could help the US in dealing with Taliban and countering Iran, a few experts on the region told ET on condition of anonymity.
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FATF had in October last year said Pakistan has been unable to deal with terror groups propping up in the country under different banners, with many contesting last year’s general elections as well. It warned the country to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2020, or face blacklisting in its next plenary session in April in Paris.

Some officials said Pakistan will have to take decisive action against Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its chief Hafiz Saeed to avoid being blacklisted. FATF has red-flagged JuD that, according to the terror watchdog officials and experts, is a charity front for terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Blacklisting by FATF could result in a freeze of capital flows to Pakistan, slow progress in refinancing/re-profiling of loans from major bilateral creditors, and increased headwinds from a weaker global economic backdrop.
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