ISLAMABAD/PARIS: Financial Action Task Force (FATF) spokesperson Alexandra Daniel denied that Pakistan had been included in the grey-list.
Daniela told Geo News that a final decision will come after the meeting reviewing the matter has concluded. The meeting is currently underway.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson said that a request to include Pakistan in the grey-list was made earlier in January by the United States and Britain. Adding that, “Pakistan has serious concerns over the motion moved by US and UK at the Financial Action Task Force to put the country on the grey list.”
The reservations tabled before the FATF are those of America, the spokesperson added. He specified that Pakistan has already taken action against most of the reservations, including implementing its own national action plan (NAP).
The FO spokesperson further added that reports from the FATF and the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) are still awaited.
Earlier in the day, Indian media had claimed that the decision of including Pakistan in the grey-list had been made.
Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal in a tweet said there had been no official intimation of the FATF decision yet. “We should not speculate till official statement is released.”
In an earlier tweet, Iqbal had thanked Turkey for standing with Pakistan against all odds.
However, the interior minister clarified that his tweet regarding Turkey “was a general comment.”
On 21 February, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif tweeted that “no consensus [could be reached]for nominating Pakistan” to be added to the FATF’s list of nations that monetarily support terrorism.
Expressing gratitude at the decision, Asif said Pakistan’s efforts paid off and the convening states proposed a “three months pause” and asked for the Asia Pacific Group, which is part of FATF, to consider “another report in June”.
“Grateful to friends who helped,” the minister added.
An article in The Wall Street Journal said that Turkey, China and Saudi Arabia were the ‘friends’ who had come forward and blocked the US motion to place Pakistan on the grey-list.
FATF is a global body that combats terrorist financing and money laundering. Pakistan has been scrambling in recent months to avoid being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations by the FATF, a measure that officials fear could hurt its economy.
‘Impact more on image than economy’
Speaking to Geo News Economist, Muhammad Sohail said the impact Pakistan would face on being placed on the grey-list would be more on the country’s image than the economy.
According to Sohail, there would be a slight impact on banking related transactions with foreign countries. “There might not be an impact on trade, but on banking related transactions.” He added this would mean a slight increase in the fee for baking transfers.
The economist also cautioned that there might be an increase in the risk element when acquiring a loan from abroad which would mean that the cost of borrowing would increase.
“Since the government is raising money through Eurobond there might be an impact on the next bond,” Sohail stressed.