In a major blow to Pakistan, the country will remain on the grey list of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) till June 2020 as it failed to comply with the 27-point action plan to control funding to terrorist groups. The international terror financing watchdog has warned Pakistan of stern action for its failure in combating money laundering and terror financing.
The decision was taken after the conclusion of the February 16-21 group meetings and the plenary session of the FATF on Friday where another deadline of four months has been given to Pakistan to act against organisations involved in terror financing.
The FATF noted that Pakistan addressed only 14 of 27 action items given to it for controlling funding to terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, responsible for series of attacks in India.
"The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by June 2020. Otherwise, should significant and sustainable progress especially in prosecuting and penalising TF (Terror Financing) not be made by the next Plenary, the FATF will take action, which could include the FATF calling on its members and urging all jurisdiction to advise their FIs (Financial Institutions) to give special attention to business relations and transactions with Pakistan," according to a press statement issued after the plenary meeting.
"Pakistan will continue in the grey list and all its propaganda and false claims, as in the past, to mislead its public and world at large about exiting the FATF grey list in February 2020 has been decisively proved false," diplomatic sources told India Today.
The FATF outcome concluded that all "deadlines" had "expired" and while there was some forward movement, Pakistan still needed to do a lot more.
"All deadlines in the action plan have expired. While noting recent and notable improvements, the FATF again expresses concerns given Pakistan's failure to complete its action plan in line with the agreed timelines and in light of the TF risks emanating from the jurisdiction."
In the last meeting in October 2019, the Paris-based watchdog had decided to keep Pakistan on its grey list for failure to curb funding to terror groups Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed and others. Pakistan was placed on the grey list by the FATF in June 2018 and was given a 27-point action plan to complete it.
The FATF continuing Pakistan in the 'Gray' list means its downgrading by IMF, World Bank, ADB, EU and also a reduction in risk rating by Moody's, S&P and Fitch. This will add to the financial problems of Pakistan, which is seeking aid from all possible international avenues.
By Chitranjan Kumar
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