Pakistan receives deadline by FATF till February 2020
The terror watchdog FATF will be reviewing Pakistan’s performance on Friday after two days of plenary in France. A crucial point of deliberation has been - "Progress by Iran, Pakistan and other countries that present a risk to the financial system."
Lucknow: The terror watchdog FATF will be reviewing Pakistan’s performance on Friday after two days of plenary in France. A crucial point of deliberation has been - "Progress by Iran, Pakistan and other countries that present a risk to the financial system."
While Iran is already in the blacklist of the FATF, the big question is will Pakistan be categorised as one too. For the moment, it appears no.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) last year placed Pakistan on grey list of countries with inadequate controls over terrorism financing. The group, holding a five-day meeting will decide on friday whether to retain that, or blacklist it alongside Iran and North Korea.
India has made an effort to push for the blacklisting, pointing out the poor track record of Pakistan. The government has cited the report by the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering, one of the nine FATF-styled regional groups.
The APG had found Pakistan only partially compliant on 29 out of 40 counts, non-compliant on one count and fully compliant only on just one count.
However, Pakistan took some hurried steps ahead of the FATF plenary as it did last year in June. It arrested four Lashkar-e-Toiba/Jamaat-ud-Dawa terrorists identified as Professor Zafar Iqbal, Yahya Aziz, Muhammad Ashraf and Abdul Salam on charges of terror financing. LeT chief Hafiz Saeed is already under arrest on similar charges.
It could also be told to address technical deficiencies in Pakistan’s legal framework without delay to be able to prosecute terrorists identified in terror financing.
In its meeting in Orlando, US in June FATF had said: "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. Otherwise, the FATF will decide the next step at that time for insufficient progress."
If blacklisted, Islamabad faces financial consequences and economic setbacks at a time when its economy is facing a balance of payment crisis.