UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday he would work to keep Pakistan out of the terrorist financing blacklist during a meeting of a global financial watchdog, in a move he considered counter to “political pressure” by its critics.
Late last year, the Financial Action Group, which addresses money laundering, informed Pakistan that it might be blacklisted if it continues not to implement adequate restrictions to combat terrorist financing.
The group will meet in France next week, and Pakistan could be kept out of the blacklist with the support of Turkey and Islamabad’s traditional allies such as China, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. Any country needs at least three votes to drop the list.
If Pakistan is blacklisted, along with Iran and North Korea, it will face sanctions and obstacles as its economy suffers from a balance of payments crisis.
“We will support Pakistan in the FATF meetings where it is under political pressure,” Erdogan told the Pakistani parliament, a day after his arrival in Islamabad.
The group has already placed Pakistan on the “gray list” of countries lacking adequate controls to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
But India, arch-foe Pakistan, which is about to war with it last year, wants to be blacklisted.
Of the 40 recommendations made by the group, Pakistan fully adhered to only one, and largely complied with nine, partly twenty-six, and never adhered to four criteria, recommendations which were compulsory to remove them from the gray list, as a review showed by their own. The group last year.
The Financial Action Group says Pakistan should identify, assess and understand the risks associated with militant groups operating in the country such as the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, Dawa, Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Army of Muhammad, which continue to raise funds in public.
Pakistan says it has made a significant improvement in meeting requirements since the previous review.
It indicates that it has confiscated the group’s assets and prosecuted militants, such as the entire leadership of the Dawa group, including its leader Hafiz Saeed, who is suspected of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks in India that killed 166 people.
In a move praised by Washington as an important step forward, Saeed was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Wednesday for financing terrorism.
Minister of Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar confirmed in a Tweet on Wednesday that Pakistan remains committed to completing its mission plan as soon as possible.
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