Govt prepared 8 bills with view to move Pak from FATF's 'grey list' to 'white list': QureshiPTI | Islamabad | Updated: 25-07-2020 23:16 IST | Created: 25-07-2020 23:09 IST
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Saturday that the government has prepared eight bills for legislation on anti-money laundering and terror financing with a view for Islamabad to move from the Financial Action Task Force's grey list to the white list. In its third and final plenary held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic in June, the FATF decided to keep Pakistan in the "grey list" as Islamabad failed to check the flow of money to terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). The plenary was held under the Chinese Presidency of Xiangmin Liu.
Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava last month said that Pakistan's continuation on the grey list vindicated India's position that the country had not taken any appropriate action against terror networks operating from its soil. Paris-based FATF put Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018 and asked Islamabad to implement a plan of action by the end of 2019 but the deadline was extended later on due to COVID-19.
Talking to the media in his home town of Multan, Qureshi said on Saturday that the government was pursuing legislation to fulfil some demands of the Paris-based anti-money laundering group. "India has been trying to push Pakistan into the FATF's blacklist. If this were to occur, you know better than I, the effects it will have on the economy," he claimed.
Qureshi said that concrete steps were being taken by the government to get Pakistan removed from the grey list. Earlier, Pakistan had rejected as "fabricated news" the reports about its continuation on the FATF's grey list, saying no "new decision" was taken about it at the virtual plenary of the global terror financing watchdog.
Qureshi said that the government has prepared eight bills for legislation on anti-money laundering and terror financing with a view for Pakistan to move from the FATF's grey list to the white list. He said a joint meeting of the government and opposition lawmakers would be held on Monday to discuss draft laws concerning the FATF. He said eight bills about the FATF had already been shared with the opposition parties ahead of the meeting.
He said the proposed new laws were prepared in consultation with the FATF experts. With Pakistan's continuation in the 'grey list', it will be difficult for the country to get financial aid from the IMF, World Bank, ADB and the European Union, thus further enhancing problems for the nation which is in a precarious financial situation.
If Pakistan fails to comply with the FATF directive by October, there is every possibility that the global body may put the country in the 'Black List' along with North Korea and Iran. The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
The FATF currently has 39 members including two regional organisations -- the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council.