FATF can blacklist Pakistan for terror financing: Rajnath Singh

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The role of Malaysia and Turkey, which openly backed Pakistan at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) last week, will be crucial during a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) later this month in Paris. The meeting of the global money laundering and terror financing watchdog, scheduled for October 13-18, will decide whether Pakistan will continue to be in its ‘grey list’ or downgraded to the ‘blacklist’.

Islamabad has been on the ‘grey list’ since June 2018 and requires at least 15 of 36 votes to exit that list. Analysts, however, say attracting support for that will be an uphill task.

Pakistan managed to stay out of the FATF blacklist for the time being in its June meeting, supported by all-weather friend China, traditional ally Turkey, and Malaysia.

Pakistan needs the support of three FATF members to avoid being blacklisted again, and besides China, is counting on Malaysia and Turkey after its prime minister, Imran Khan, failed to impress other FATF member-states during meetings with their leaders on the sidelines of UNGA, ET has learned.

Khan’s key objective during his New York visit was not only to sell his narrative on Kashmir but also to lobby hard from being blacklisted at next month’s FATF meet, ET has further learnt.

While most FATF members are unlikely to back Pakistan, Khan is counting on support from Malaysia and Turkey in particular, and as part of this endeavor, had even the floated idea of a trilateral channel on Islam.

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