India on Saturday said it expects Pakistan to take all necessary steps to fully implement an action plan given by the Financial Action Task Force by September, PTI reported. The global watchdog had on Friday warned Pakistan for failing to meet two deadlines to implement the action plan on terror financing.
“We expect Pakistan to take all necessary steps to effectively implement the FATF Action Plan fully within the remaining time frame, i.e. by September 2019 in accordance with its political commitment to the FATF and take credible, verifiable, irreversible and sustainable measures to address global concerns related to terrorism and terrorist financing emanating from any territory under its control,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
The FATF is an intergovernmental body that 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.
In its statement on Friday, the FATF expressed 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 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,” read the statement, which was issued at the conclusion of the body’s plenary meeting in the United States. “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 country’s 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 said.
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.