Pakistan in denial mode after inclusion into 'terror' list

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The move comes days after reports that Pakistan had been given a three-month reprieve before being placed on the list, which could hamper banking and hurt foreign investment.

The State Bank of Pakistan introduced a comprehensive set of new rules against money laundering and terror financing, officials said. This is the reason why Pakistan was not mentioned in the final statement of the FATF.

Alexandra Wijmenga-Daniel, a spokeswoman for the task force, known as F.A.T.F., would not comment on the news reports, saying only that "Pakistan was subject to F.A.T.F. monitoring in the past", and "exited this process in 2015".

Only Turkey is confirmed to have opposed the US-sponsored resolution in the Paris meeting until the end. This happened following an extraordinary second vote that the USA managed to arrange on Thursday night, two days after the motion had been defeated in the first round of discussion, a top official confirmed to Dawn.

Pakistan has been lobbying to escape the terror financing list and had over the last week announced a crackdown on terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad banned by the UN Security Council.

The FATF said after plenary session that North Korea has failed to address "significant deficiencies" in its system to combat the ills that pose a risk to the global financial system. After that, implementation of the plan will begin, monitored by the Asia Pacific Group, a part of the global FATF network. The United States, India and other Western countries have repeatedly called for Pakistan to take stronger action against a charity that acts as a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Earlier, Pakistan had lobbied for support in western capitals and even turned to Russian Federation to prevent its inclusion in the grey list, from which it was removed in 2015 after three years. The status does little more than raising the compliance burden on counterparts, such as correspondent banks, dealing with entities within Pakistan's financial system, and therefore attaches an additional cost to many external sector transactions.

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The US spearheaded the latest efforts to place Pakistan on the Grey List and was supported by the UK, France and Germany. The group's founder, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, remains free despite an American bounty of $10 million.

Pakistan believes that the move was politically motivated.

Faisal said most of the concerns "raised by the United States regarding deficiencies in our CFT/AML (Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Anti-Money Laundering) regime had already been addressed in 2015 when Pakistan got an exit from the "grey list".

Pakistan has not been placed on the so-called Grey List which includes names of the countries that have failed to take necessary action against terror financing or money laundering, the report said.

The FATF warned that that action could be taken in June against Iran if progress is not made.

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif tweeted that Pakistan had received a three-month reprieve, adding that it was "grateful to friends who helped".

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