Global anti-terrorism watchdog Financial Action Task Force on Thursday decided to retain Pakistan on its “grey list” till June for its failure to fully comply with a 27-point action plan to combat terrorism. The decision was made after a virtual plenary session held over three days.
FATF President Marcus Pleyer said there was a “serious deficiency” on Pakistan’s part to check terror financing, India Today reported. “Pakistan will remain under increased monitoring as serious deficiencies remain related to terror financing,” Pleyer said. “While Pakistan has taken important steps, there are three important points from 27 action points remaining to be acted upon.”
Pleyer added that Pakistan was yet to take action against United Nations-designated terrorists. He asked the country to act as “as quickly as possible” as its deadline had already expired.
The points that Pakistan still needs to act on relate to financial sanctions against entities involved in terror funding. The Financial Action Task Force said:
“Pakistan should continue to work on implementing the three remaining items in its action plan to address its strategically important deficiencies, namely by:
(1) demonstrating that TF [Terror funding] investigations and prosecutions target persons and entities acting on behalf or at the direction of the designated persons or entities;
(2) demonstrating that TF prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions;
(3) demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all 1,267 and 1,373 designated terrorists, specifically those acting for or on their behalf.”— Financial Action Task Force
The watchdog noted that Pakistan had made “significant progress” across all action plan items and largely addressed 24 of the 27 action items. “As all action plan deadlines have expired, the FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan before June 2021,” it added.
In October also, the FATF had decided to keep Pakistan on its “grey list”. Remaining on the FATF’s grey list will continue to make it difficult for Pakistan to get aid from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the European Union. India, which is a member of FATF, has repeatedly asked Pakistan to take necessary steps to meet international standards in stopping financial crimes.