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FATF meeting outcome on Oct 18, tough action against Pakistan likely

The Financial Action Task Force or FATF, which began its crucial meet on Sunday, is likely to take strong action against Pakistan as it has failed to take sufficient action on terror financing. 

The crucial meet of the global anti-terror financing body began in Paris on Sunday and will decide if Pakistan will be removed from the grey list. The FATF will finalise its decision on Pakistan on October 18.

Sources indicate that Pakistan is on the verge of strong action by FATF, given its inadequate performance, whereby it managed to pass in only 6 of 27 parameters. 

According to FATF rules, there is one essential stage between grey and blacklist, referred to as dark grey. Dark grey was the term earlier used for warning up to the third Phase. Now the third phase is just called warning.

The action against Pakistan is in the fourth phase. This is the issuance of a strong warning so that the concerned country gets one last chance to improve.

As per early indications in the meeting, Pakistan will be isolated by all members for not doing enough on terror financing.

This is for the first time the full-fledged plenary meeting is taking place under the new Chinese Presidency of Xiangmin Liu.

A 5-member Pakistani team led by Hammad Azhar the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs of the country is in Paris for the meet.

In early 2019, the former President of FATF Marshall Billingslea had said that the country has to do "significant work to meet the obligations they themselves undertook" as part of there high-level commitments and the country is "lacking in almost every respect of action plan."

FATF is a technical body, whose main aim is to protect the international financial system and the 30-year-old body works on the consensus of member countries.

The meet happens days after the Asia pacific group (APG) of the Financial Action Task Force had released the mutual evaluation report of Pakistan taken up during the August meet in Australia in which the country had not done well.

The report had even said that Islamabad hasn't taken sufficient action to implement sanctions under the United Nation Security Committee of 1267 on 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and country "faces significant money laundering and terror financing risks."

Pakistan was put on greylist by the FATF last year and is causing a loss of $10 billion to Pakistani economy annually. A blacklist will further have a detrimental impact on a weak Pakistani economy as investors won't be keen to invest in a country that is prone to terror financing.

(With inputs from Sidhant Sibal, Anas Mallick)

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