FATF meeting to decide Pakistan's fate begins today
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A key meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will start today (Sunday) in Paris to decide, among other issues, if Pakistan stays on the 'grey list' or not.
The country has taken significant steps in recent months to get off the FATF grey list and the Foreign Office last week expressed the confidence that Islamabad’s status would be upgraded by the global anti-money laundering watchdog.
Pakistan was placed on this list in June 2018 and was given a plan of action to complete by October 2019.
In the best-case scenario, FATF could take the country of the ‘grey list’ in its current plenary meeting, or it may keep the country on this list for another six months to ensure Islamabad gets enough time to adopt further legislative and other measures to improve its banking system and bring it in line with the international best practices.
If Islamabad succeeds in getting off the 'grey list', it will become easier for the financially troubled country to receive loans from international and multinational lenders like the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the European Union on favourable terms.
In the worst-case scenario, however, the body may succumb to the pressure from some countries, especially India – which has long been lobbying to penalize Pakistan further and downgrade Pakistan’s status further.
In the case of Pakistan’s failure to meet the least expectations of the international watchdog, the country faces the risk of being placed on the blacklist, along with Iran and North Korea.