Pakistan will avert blacklisting over terrorism financing

Vastavam web: Backed by longtime ally China, Pakistan is confident it will avert blacklisting over terrorism financing by a global watchdog on Friday but it will not be completely off the hook until it proves it is genuinely severing ties with Islamist militants, officials and analysts said. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) last year placed Pakistan on a grey list of countries with inadequate controls over terrorism financing. The group, holding a five-day meeting, will decide on Friday whether to retain that, or blacklist it alongside Iran and North Korea.

“The main challenge for Pakistan is to convince the FATF that it is taking complete and irreversible steps against terrorist financing,” Michael Kugelman, deputy director Asia Program at the Wilson Center thinktank, told Reuters by email. Pakistan, which blames arch-rival India for lobbying to blacklist it, is relying for support on friendly countries like China, Turkey and Malaysia.

“God willing, we’re trying that we get out of this grey-list as soon as possible, and I think you should believe that a comprehensive effort is being put in place,” Finance chief Abdul Hafeez Shaikh told a news conference over the weekend. If Pakistan does avert blacklisting it will be just a temporary relief until the FATF meets again in February, 2020.