Pakistan Again Gets Extension to Make Case for Exiting FATF List

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A global anti-money laundering watchdog gave Pakistan time until June to show the nation had done enough to be removed from a monitoring list for terror-financing.

Pakistan has addressed 24 of the 27 action items assigned to it, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force said in a statement on Thursday. This is the second extension after the nation failed to meet four previous deadlines. Four months ago it was asked to see through the action plan by February.

Pakistan has made significant progress but deficiencies remain, Marcus Pleyer, FATF president said at a briefing. “All of these deficiencies are related to terror financing.”

Pakistan was placed on the FATF’s “grey” monitoring list in 2018 after a campaign by the U.S. and European nations to get the country to do more to combat militancy and close financing loopholes to terrorist groups.

China, Turkey and Malaysia have lobbied in the past to prevent severe penalties against Pakistan, while India, which accuses Islamabad of funding militant groups operating in its portion of Kashmir, had sought a downgrade.

But the South Asian nation has done enough to escape being put in a blacklist along with North Korea and Iran.

An entry in the list three times since 2008 likely led to a decline in trade and investments, according to a paper by Islamabad-based research advisory Tabadlab. It estimated the cumulative real gross domestic product cost at about $38 billion.

Once Pakistan has completed the action plan, FATF will then “verify the implementation and improvement and test the sustainability of these reforms,” said Pleyer. FATF members will then decide the next step, he said.

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