Hectic negotiations are underway in Paris for the blacklisting of Pakistan at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary, where China, Turkey and Malaysia are learnt to be resisting India’s efforts and the discussions are headed towards keeping it in greylist.
The Indian Express has learnt that China and Turkey are pushing for giving Pakistan a “little more time” to fulfill the commitments made. Saudi Arabia has not yet committed to giving support or oppose the Indian efforts.
A final decision is expected to arrive by Friday afternoon — about 4 pm IST on October 18.
At the meeting, India is learnt to have asked FATF members to blacklist Pakistan, citing the recent example that Islamabad has allowed the Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed to withdraw funds from his frozen accounts.
According to the latest assessment by FATF’s Asia Pacific Group’s reports, Pakistan was found to be non-compliant in four areas, and partially compliant on 26 areas. It was found compliant in one area — and largely compliant in nine areas. The only area where it was found to be compliant was financial institution secrecy laws.
Sources said the FATF, which will see deliberations from October 13 till October 18, is “under intense discussions” on each of these commitments.
FATF procedure provides that after a year of grey-listing, if the action plan remains substantially unaddressed, the next step, which is black-listing, could be considered, sources said.
Officials from 37 countries and two regional organisations are discussing the issues pertaining to Pakistan.
FATF president Xiangmin Liu opened the FATF plenary meeting. The key outcomes of the next three days of meetings on global action against money-laundering and terrorist-financing, and decisions on Pakistan, Iran and other countries will be announced on Friday, the FATF stated.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had met their counterparts of many of these FATF member-countries in the last few weeks, especially at the UN.
While Modi had met leaders from Belgium, France, the US, the UK, Italy, New Zealand and South Africa, among others, at the UN, Jaishankar had met his counterparts from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Singapore, Turkey and Japan at the UN. He has also met his counterparts from the two regional organisations in FATF — the GCC and the EC.
Earlier, Jaishankar had met leaders from Finland and has met his counterparts from France, Germany and Canada. Doval and Jaishankar had also visited Russia separately.
According to sources, between Modi, Jaishankar and Doval, they have had meetings with leaders and ministers from at least 24 out of 37 countries in the last few weeks.
After the second informal summit at Mahabalipuram on October 11-12, the MEA said, Modi and China’s President Xi Jinping were “concerned that terrorism continues to pose a common threat”.