Paris: Pakistan may be able to escape being put on the anti-terror finance watchdog FATF's black list by citing recent action taken against terrorist organisations. It will instead remain on FATF's "Grey List." Islamabad has been trying to escape any listing altogether, as against New Delhi's efforts to push it to the black list. The final decision will be taken on Friday after the week-long plenary session.
A place on the black list - where Iran currently is -- incurs severe economic sanctions. It would lead to a freeze on investments and other capital inflows, including funding by the IMF.
Citing the recent conviction of Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistani officials told FATF that the judicial system in the country was fully independent and the courts were taking decisions on merit, which were being implemented.
Defence experts in New Delhi on Saturday had noted that the recent sentencing of Saeed, just days ahead of the FATF meeting in Paris, was just an eyewash to delude the international community; the buzz is that the Mumbai terror attacks mastermind will be released shortly after the FATF announces its decision.
Pakistan was placed on the 'grey list' by the FATF in June, 2018, and was given a plan of action to complete it by October, 2019, or face the risk of being placed on the 'black list' along with Iran and North Korea. Pakistan needs 12 votes out of 39 to exit the 'grey list' and move to 'white list'.