Paris/New Delhi (NVI): Pakistan on October 18 narrowly escaped black-listing by the global terror-funding watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which retained Islamabad in “Grey List” and gave it fresh deadline of February 20 to act against terror financing. Pakistan failed to address 22 out of 27 points of the FATF Action Plan on terror funding.
This might be seen as a temporary setback for India, which has been proactively lobbying in FATF to put Pakistan in the global blacklist.
FATF President Xiangmin Liu said there was a consensus on retaining Pakistan in the Grey List of countries whose domestic laws are considered weak to tackle the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing. Iran and North Korea are the only countries on the blacklist so far.
Despite a high-level commitment by Pakistan to fix these weaknesses, it “has not made enough progress.” said Liu. “Pakistan needs to do more and it needs to do it faster.”
“Strongly urge Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2020, otherwise should significant and sustainable progress not be made across the full range of its action plan by next Plenary, the FATF will take action including urging members to advise their financial institutions to give special attention to business relations/transactions with Pakistan,” the FATF said in a statement at the end of its plenary meeting in Paris.
The meeting was attended by representatives from 205 countries, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations, the World Bank and other organisations. According to reports, China, Turkey and Malaysia had supported Pakistan at the FAFT meeting.
Pakistan was placed on the “grey list” by the FATF in June last year and was asked to complete a plan of action by October 2019, or face the risk of being placed on the blacklist.