Pakistan has failed to act with serious intent against terrorism, said top diplomats as the Asia-Pacific Group of the global watchdog for terror financing and money laundering, FATF put Pakistan in the “enhanced expedited follow-up list” (blacklist) for its failure to meet its standards.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has found that Pakistan was non-compliant on 32 of the 40 compliance parameters of terror financing and money laundering.
The FATF APG meeting was held in Canberra, Australia and the discussions lasted over seven hours over two days.
“While it is true that Pakistan has taken some action against terror funding after Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) founder Masood Azhar was declared a terrorist by the United Nations, the country has not acted with serious intent. International agencies are looking at the fact carefully that Pakistan failed to act on terrorism in many respects,” KP Fabian, former Indian ambassador to Italy, told IANS.
Dilip Sinha, India’s former permanent representative to the UN appeared more circumspect. “This is only an interim position by the APG. The final decision will be on the basis of a report that is expected in October. The final decision will be on whether to upgrade Pakistan from ‘grey’ to ‘black’ in the list by looking at the country’s compliance report. Right now, it is premature to jump to conclusions,” said Sinha.
Earlier in June this year, Pakistan government wanted to avoid being pushed into the ‘blacklist’ of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) by garnering the support of at least three member states of the global financial watchdog.
The temporary breather for Pakistan came as a result of desperate efforts made by the Imran Khan government to garner the support of FATF member countries to counter the looming threat of a ‘blacklist’ push from the existing ‘grey’.
Currently, India, the co-chair of the joint group of FATF and the Asia Pacific Group (APG), along with the United States and United Kingdom, has been campaigning to ensure Islamabad ends up in FATF’s ‘blacklist’, claiming that the country has failed to meet international standards in combating financial crimes and terror financing.
Pakistan has not been able to implement the action plan, which was assigned to it by the APG and FATF, deadline of which ended in January 2019, but was given leverage till May 2019.
FATF has, meanwhile, warned Pakistan of action against it if the country does not improve its counter-terror financing operations in line with an internationally agreed action plan by October.
India has also urged Pakistan to take all necessary steps to effectively implement the FATF Action Plan fully within the remaining time frame by September 2019.
(With agency inputs)