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International Relations

Shah Mahmood Qureshi  

Pakistan could be blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) due to “lobbying by India”, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, as he estimated that the country could suffer a loss of $10 billion annually if it remains in the watchdog’s grey list.

In June last year, the Paris-based FATF had placed Pakistan on the ‘grey list’ of countries whose domestic laws are considered weak to tackle the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing.

“The Foreign Office is calculating the annual loss if Pakistan is pushed in the black-list by the FATF as India is lobbying for this,” Mr. Qureshi told reporters here on Monday evening.

A group of experts from the FATF recently visited Pakistan to review whether Islamabad had made enough progress on global standards against financial crimes to warrant its exclusion from the ‘grey list’.

During the visit, a delegation of the Asia-Pacific Group on money laundering, a regional affiliate of the FATF, expressed serious reservations over insufficient physical actions on ground against banned groups to block flow of funds and activities. The delegation reportedly raised questions over specific actions against each of the eight organisations proscribed under international requirements.

It said activities of banned organisations and NGOs were still unchecked at the provincial, district and grass roots level, where they can still raise funds and hold meetings and rallies.

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