Pakistan has been named under the “grey list” of nations that have been reportedly inadequate in curing terror financing and money laundering. The nation has already skipped two prior deadlines, in January and May 2019, to complete its action plan.
A statement issued by the financial watchdog outlined: “Pakistan should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies. FATF expressed concern that not only did Pakistan fail to complete its action plan items with January deadlines, it also failed to complete its action plan items due May 2019.”
The statement added the FATF strongly urged Islamabad to swiftly complete its action plan by October 2019 when the last set of action plan items were slated to expire, adding, “Otherwise, the FATF will decide the next step at the time for insufficient progress.”
Earlier, India has urged the financial watchdog to put Pakistan on a blacklist of nations fail to meet the international standards in putting an end to harbouring terrorism and financing them, following the designation of Pakistan-based and backed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist by the United Nations (UN).
Minimum three FATF member nations’ support to Pakistan is needed to avoid being blacklisted. Anadolu news agency has quoted a Pakistan official as reporting Malaysia, Turkey and China have backed Pakistan in ensuring “there is no imminent threat of blacklisting” by the body.
After being placed under the grey list, the FATF has given Pakistan a 27-point action plan in June last year, with a given deadline January 2019 to comply with it, which Islamabad skipped.
According to FATF guidelines which the media has quoted stated Pakistan needs minimum 15 votes out of 36 to be removed from the greylist.
Following the meeting held on Friday, Islamabad reiterated “its commitment to take all necessary measures to ensure completion of the Action Plan in a timely manner”.