Global terror financing and money laundering watchdog Financial Action Task Force on Friday indicted Pakistan for failing to deliver on 22 out of 27 targets it had set for the country, the Hindustan Times reported. The task force also warned Pakistan that it would be blacklisted if Islamabad does not achieve the targets in the next four months.
The announcement was made by FATF President Xiangmin Liu. “Pakistan needs to do more and faster,” she was quoted as saying by ANI. “If by February 2020, Pakistan doesn’t make significant progress, it will be put in the black list,” she added.
“The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2020,” the watchdog said. “Otherwise, should significant and sustainable progress not be made across the full range of its action plan by the next Plenary, the FATF will take action which could include the FATF calling on its members and urging all jurisdictions to advise their financial institutions to give special attention to business relations and transactions with Pakistan.”
The inter-governmental body sets standards for fighting illicit finance globally. In June, the global watchdog had warned Pakistan to complete an action plan on terror financing and urged Islamabad to meet the October 2019 deadline. In June 2018, Pakistan was put on its “grey list” and given a 27-point action plan to implement in order to be taken off the list.
In August, Pakistan submitted a 450-page compliance document to the task force, with details of all the changes the government has made to existing laws, and action taken against terror groups in the past year and a half. It mentioned that Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed was charged with terror financing, and that it had frozen all assets of the group and of outfits banned by the United Nations Security Council.
India, which is a member of the Financial Action Task Force, has repeatedly asked Pakistan to take necessary steps to meet international standards in stopping financial crimes. Being on a blacklist of the financial watchdog has the potential to severely cripple and isolate a country financially, which could lead to a downgraded credit rating and denial of loans and developmental assistance. This would be disastrous for Pakistan, which has been negotiating for foreign aid to revive its struggling economy.
Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.