The Financial Action Task Force on Friday said that Pakistan had failed to meet two deadlines to complete an action plan on terror financing and urged Islamabad to meet the October 2019 deadline.
The intergovernmental body sets standards for fighting illicit finance globally. Pakistan was put on its “grey list” in June 2018 and was given a 27-point action plan to implement to be taken off the list.
“The FATF expresses concern that not only did Pakistan fail to complete its action plan items with January deadlines, it also failed to complete its action plan items due May 2019,” the global body said in a statement issued at the conclusion of its plenary meeting in the United States. “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.”
This means that Pakistan has avoided being on the FATF blacklist, but it will continue to remain on the grey list, The Hindu reported. The Financial Action Task Force said Pakistan had taken steps towards improving its “anti-money laundering/combating the financial terrorism regime” but “does not demonstrate a proper understanding of Pakistan’s transnational terror funding risk”.
Following FATF’s statement, Pakistan reiterated its commitment to taking necessary measures to ensure the action plan is completed in a timely manner, Reuters reported quoting the Ministry of Finance.
“It [FATF] acknowledged the steps taken by Pakistan to improve its anti-money laundering/combating the financial terrorism regime and highlighted the need for further actions for implementing the action plan,” the Ministry of Finance said.
India said it expected Pakistan to take necessary steps to implement the action plan fully within the remaining time frame, ANI reported. The Ministry of External Affairs said implementing the action plan would be in accordance with Pakistan’s political commitment to the FATF and the country should “take credible, verifiable, irreversible and sustainable measures to address global concerns related to terrorism and terrorist financing emanating from any territory under its control”.
On May 3 last year, former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said India would ask the FATF to put Pakistan on a blacklist of countries that failed to meet international standards in stopping financial crime.