Updated: August 23, 2019 12:27:20 pm
A day after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) gave Pakistan time till October to improve its counter-terror financing operations in line with an internationally agreed action plan, India Saturday said it expected Pakistan to “take all necessary steps to effectively implement the FATF action plan”.
“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 & take credible, verifiable, irreversible and sustainable measures to address global concerns related to terrorism and terrorist financing emanating from any territory under its control,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement, PTI reported.
In response to a media query regarding the FATF report, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the FATF has decided to continue to keep Pakistan on its compliance document (i.e. Grey List) for the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) monitoring for its failure to complete the action plan items due in January and May 2019.
The FATF had said it was concerned that Pakistan had failed to complete the action plan first by a January deadline and then again by a May deadline.
“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,” it said after a meeting in Orlando, Florida.
The FATF already has Pakistan on its “Grey List” of countries with inadequate controls over curbing money-laundering and terrorism financing. Sources in the US said that prominent countries such as the US, UK and France, along with India, have expressed reservations about Pakistan’s commitment to stick to standards set by FATF on terror funding. The countries have raised the issue of Pakistan not having filed a single FIR against UN-designated terrorists Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar and its inability to begin investigations on the source of funding of their organisations, the sources said.
EXPLAINED | What if Pakistan is Blacklisted
Pakistan is lobbying to get itself out of the Grey List, which has put tremendous financial pressure on the nation as it would face an estimated annual loss of $10 billion if it stays in it; and if blacklisted, its already fragile economy will be dealt a powerful blow.
Pakistan’s $6 billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) could be threatened. The IMF has asked Pakistan to show commitment against money laundering and terror financing.
Whereas, India which is a voting member of the FATF and APG, on the other hand, has been pushing for Pakistan to be put in the FATF Black List for its failure to contain terrorism. However, it was not part of the group that moved the resolution to greylist Pakistan last year in Paris.
(With ENS inputs)
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