Moment of truth: FATF to decide on Pakistan’s ‘gray list’ status today

Financial Action Task Force plenary session in progress on Feb. 19, 2020 in Paris. (Photo courtesy: FATF)
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Updated 23 October 2020

Moment of truth: FATF to decide on Pakistan’s ‘gray list’ status today

  • FATF in 2018 placed Pakistan on its gray list of countries with inadequate controls over terror financing
  • Pakistan had until October to complete a 27-step action plan on international anti-terrorism financing norms

ISLAMABAD: The global financial watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force, will today, Friday, conclude a three-day plenary to decide whether to keep Pakistan on a terror financing gray list or move it to a blacklist. 
In 2018 the FATF placed Pakistan on its gray list of countries with inadequate controls over money laundering and terror financing, and gave it a 27-step action plan to implement. 
In February, Pakistan won an extra four months, until June this year, to meet the international anti-terrorism financing norms. That deadline was extended to October due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
“The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by June 2020,” the FATF had said in a statement issued after a meeting in Paris in February. “Otherwise, should significant and sustainable progress especially in prosecuting and penalizing TF (terrorism financing) not be made by the next Plenary, the FATF will take action.”

It said such action could include calling on its member states to order their financial institutions to give particularly rigorous attention to business relations and transactions with Pakistani clients.
Being placed on the FATF black list would put Pakistan in company with Iran and North Korea and see it shunned by international financial institutions.
Pakistan has long been accused of nurturing and supporting militant groups for use as proxies, charges Islamabad vehemently denies. But with a minimum of three votes by FATF members needed to avoid the organization’s blacklist, Pakistan has been able to avoid punishment so far with support from major ally China and other friendly countries including Malaysia and Turkey.


Music icon Cher meets Pakistan PM ahead of elephant’s move

Updated 3 min 10 sec ago

Music icon Cher meets Pakistan PM ahead of elephant’s move

  • The famed singer has for years campaigned for Kaavan the elephant and is helping pay for his move
  • Cher tweeted that she thanked Khan “For Making It Possible For Me To Take Kaavan To Cambodia”

ISLAMABAD: American pop icon Cher met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday ahead of the relocation of an elephant from Islamabad’s dilapidated zoo to a Cambodian sanctuary.
The famed singer, who has for years campaigned for Kaavan the elephant and is helping pay for his move, arrived in the Pakistan capital this week to see the animal before the flight to Cambodia on Sunday.
“Appreciating her efforts in retiring Kaavan to an elephant sanctuary, the prime minister thanked Cher for her campaign and role in this regard,” a statement from Khan’s office read.
Cher tweeted that she thanked Khan “For Making It Possible For Me To Take Kaavan To Cambodia.”
The plight of Kaavan — an overweight, 35-year-old bull elephant — has drawn international condemnation and highlighted the woeful state of Islamabad’s zoo, where conditions are so bad a judge in May ordered all the animals to be moved.
A team of vets and experts from Four Paws, an Austria-based animal welfare group, has spent months working with Kaavan to get him ready for the journey to Cambodia.
Experts have trained Kaavan to enter a large metal crate that will be used to transport the animal to the airport.
Volunteers working with Kaavan say he responds well to music and singing, and Cher is expected to belt out a song or two for the elephant before he departs Islamabad.