The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Friday strongly reprimanded Pakistan for failing to take any credible action against terror outfits working from its soil. Though, Pakistan has not been blacklisted, it has been given 4-month grace period with stern warning. This means that as of now, Pakistan remains on the FATF grey list. “Strongly urge Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2020 otherwise should significant and sustainable progress not be made across the full range of its action plan by next Plenary, the FATF will take action including urging members to advise their financial institutions to give special attention to business relations/transactions with Pakistan,” the watchdog’s statement said.
The development means that Pakistan's status till February 2020 will remain like that and Islamabad must take extra measures for complete elimination of terror financing and money laundering. Earlier, in a meeting in Paris on Tuesday, the FATF's International Co-operation Review Group examined the measures that Pakistan has already taken to control money laundering and terror financing. Pakistan’s Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar had explained his country’s positive performance in 20 of the 27 parameters to check terror financing. It has got support from China, Turkey and Malaysia who "appreciated" the steps taken by Pakistan. The support of at least three countries is required to not blacklist any country.
India recommended the blacklisting of Pakistan citing Islamabad permitting Hafiz Saeed to withdraw funds from his frozen accounts, according to reports.
The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
The meeting is being attended by representatives from 205 countries, the IMF, the UN, the World Bank and other organisations. Pakistan was placed on the "grey list" by the Paris-based watchdog in June last year and was given a plan of action to complete it by October 2019, or face the risk of being placed on the black list with Iran and North Korea.
The FATF "grey list" list also features Ethiopia, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu and Tunisia.