Paris: Pakistan has until October to improve its counter-terror financing operations in line with an internationally agreed action plan or face actions against it, a global watchdog said on Friday.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said it was concerned that Pakistan had failed to complete the action plan first by a January deadline and then again by May.
“The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan by October 2019 when the last set of action plan items are set to expire,” the FATF said in a statement released after a meeting in Florida in the United States. “Otherwise, the FATF will decide the next step at that time for insufficient progress.”
The FATF already has Pakistan on its “grey list” of countries with inadequate controls over curbing money laundering and terrorism financing. But India wants Pakistan blacklisted, which would likely result in sanctions.
The US, the UK and France are some prominent countries to have voiced concern over Pakistan’s failure to do enough to contain terror funding in its soil and not registering cases against terror masterminds Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar under anti-terror laws.
Several countries expressed this view at the meeting, according to people aware of the development.
Pakistan continues to state that it has done enough by seizing more than 700 properties of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM),Jamat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), similar to what it did as a result of its previous gray listing in 2012.
However, FATF members also expressed concern that there are no cases registered against the terror leadership, namely Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar and other UN-designated terrorists.
India’s stand at the FATF Plenary and other related discussions have always been consistent regarding Pakistan. India has steadfastly supported the move of four nominating countries — the US, the UK, Germany and France — in February 2018. These countries have voiced their concern that Pakistan is not doing enough to contain terror funding on its soil, said the sources.
In June 2018, Pakistan was placed in the ‘gray’ list and given a 27-point action plan by FATF. This plan was reviewed at the last plenary in October 2018 and for the second time in February, when the country was again put into the ‘gray’ list after India submitted new information about Pakistan-based terrorist groups.
If the FATF continues Pakistan in the ‘gray’ list, it means the country being downgraded by the IMF, World Bank, ADB, EU and also a reduction in risk rating by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch. This will add to the financial problems of Pakistan, which is seeking aid from all possible international avenues.
Pakistan Given October Deadline by Global Watchdog to Curb Terror Funding or Face Action – News18