WORLD

Pakistan hopes to exit terror financing gray list

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Pakistan has submitted a compliance report to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global terror financing watchdog, hoping to get out of its gray list, according to a local media report.

The report, comprising measures Islamabad has taken in the last four months against persons and groups involved in terror-financing, was presented by Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar during a FATF meeting in Thailand, broadcaster Geo News reported Wednesday

The meeting in the Thai capital Bangkok will run through Sept. 13.

Azhar said FATF will prepare a report on Islamabad's progress based on a 27-point action plan negotiated between the two sides last year.

He added he was satisfied by the proceedings of the meeting and was hoping for a positive result.

The 36-nation watchdog will take a decision to remove or keep Pakistan in its gray list or even place it in the blacklist in its plenary scheduled in Paris in October of this year.

Islamabad has been on the watchdog's radar since June 2018, when it was placed on the gray list for terror financing and money laundering risks after an assessment of the country's financial system and security mechanism.

Turkey was the only country that had opposed the move backed by the U.S., the U.K., and Pakistan's arch-rival India. However, Islamabad's longtime ally China abstained.

Pakistan was able to block being blacklisted in a move initiated by New Delhi this June, after Turkey, China, and Malaysia supported it.

According to the FATF charter, the support of at least three member states is essential to avoid the blacklisting.

Pakistan, in recent months, has taken some major steps in accordance with the action plan, which includes no foreign currency transactions without a national tax number and a ban on currency change of up to $500 in the open currency market without submission of a national identity card copy.

In addition to that Islamabad has also proscribed several militant groups and seized their assets.

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