At a global meeting on anti-terrorism financing in Paris on Friday, a decision whether or not to blacklist the South Asian nation is expected. Pakistan on its end, hopes to secure a four-month reprieve according to officials and analysts.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has to date kept Pakistan off its blacklist but warned late last year that Islamabad could face international action if it failed to do more to combat terrorism financing.
But Pakistan, which has avoided punishment so far thanks to support from major ally China, now seems more confident it will keep clear of the blacklist after securing backing from other friendly countries including Malaysia and Turkey.
A minimum of three votes by FATF member states are required for a country to escape FATF blacklisting.
Pakistani Finance Ministry adviser Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has “thanked the Chinese government for their massive support in the FATF meetings,” a ministry statement said.
“China and other brotherly countries have supported Pakistan throughout the process in terms of guiding the country to improve its frameworks.”
Finance Ministry and counter-terrorism officials say Pakistan has done much under pressure to comply with FATF’s 27-point agenda, which included an unprecedented conviction for terrorism financing of Hafiz Saeed, chief of the Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Islamist militant group.
If blacklisted alongside Iran and North Korea, Pakistan would face a serious financial hit at a time when its economy is confronting a balance of payment crisis.