Pakistan to stay on global terrorism financing grey list despite Turkish support

Turkey was the only country to support Pakistan’s bid to be removed from a grey list at the G7’s terrorism financing watchdog meeting in Paris on Friday, Indian newspaper Hindustan Times reported.

Thirty-eight members of the G7 Financial Action Task Force (FATF) were in favour of Pakistan remaining on the watchlist during Friday’s plenary meeting, Hindustan Times cited diplomats based in Paris and Brussels as saying. Pakistan has 66 organisations and 7,600 individuals listed in the U.N. Security council anti-terror and money laundering resolutions.

Before the plenary, China and Saudi Arabia had spoken in favour of Pakistan in the meeting of FATF’s International Cooperation Review Group, but did not support the country afterwards.

Pakistan reached 21 out of 27 targets the FATF set for it in 2018, when the country was placed on the grey list of countries with inadequate controls over financing of terrorism, Reuters reported.

The FATF had given Pakistan four more months to complete the plan in February last year, but the grace period was extended due to the coronavirus pandemic. The next assessment will be in February next year.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said before the February meeting that helping Pakistan stay off the grey list would counter political pressure from Islamabad’s critics, according to Reuters.

In Friday’s meeting, Turkey proposed that members consider Pakistan’s progress and not wait for the completion of the targets, the Hindu, another Indian daily reported.

The FATF found Pakistan to be non-compliant in cracking down on terror financing through narcotics and mineral smuggling and noted that there had been few convictions for Al-Qaeda-linked entities.

Turkey has been at odds with India over its support for Pakistan’s bid for the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region, and the two countries have grown closer in recent years, especially in military cooperation.