In a move that could impact Pakistan’s chances of getting off the FATF’s grey list, the United Kingdom (UK) on Sunday added the country to its list of 21 “high-risk countries” over money laundering and terror financing charges. The UK added Pakistan in the ‘Amendment of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2021’ listing. The regulation came into effect on March 26.
Pakistan condemned the UK’s move to add it to the list. It said that this was not based on facts and is “politically motivated.” Hafeez Chaudhuri, Foreign Spokesperson of Pakistan hoped that the “UK would review its regulations in light of facts on the ground and avoid politically motivated and misplaced measures.”
According to the UK government, the nations in this category pose a threat because of the weak tax controls, and lack of check and balance on terrorism financing and money laundering. Earlier the list was determined by the European Union (EU) under the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesperson tried to explain the actions taken by Islamabad and why the country should not be on the list. The spokesperson added that Pakistan has taken “unprecedented measures through a series of Legislative, Institutional and Administrative actions in the domain of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.”
Pakistan has been on the FATF’s grey list for deficiencies in its counter-terror financing.