Pakistan has until October to improve its counter-terror financing operations in line with an internationally agreed action plan or face action, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said on Friday.
The FATF 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.
Pakistan is lobbying to get itself out of the Grey List, which has put tremendous financial pressure on the nation. India has been pushing for Pakistan to be put in the FATF Black List for its failure to contain terrorism against India, which is among the 37 members of FATF.
The US, the UK and France are learnt to have voiced concern over Pakistan’s failure to do enough to contain terror funding on its soil. Pakistan, however, has maintained that it has done enough by seizing more than 700 properties of LeT, JeM, Jamat-ud-Dawah and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation — both LeT fronts.
(With inputs from Reuters)