The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), in a meeting in Paris on Friday, said that Pakistan will continue to remain on the 'grey list' even as India pushed for its neighbour to be blacklisted for alleged terror-funding after a terror attack which claimed the lives of over 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir last week. The inter-governmental body aims to stop terror financing, among other objectives.
In a statement after the conclusion of the week-long meetings, the FATF said, "Given the limited progress on action plan items due in January 2019, the FATF urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan particularly those with timelines of May 2019. Pakistan does not demonstrate a proper understanding of the risk posed by terrorist groups Al Qaeda, Jamat-ud-Dawa, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, and persons affiliated with the Taliban. Pakistan should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies."
Remaining on the grey list makes it tough for Pakistan to get loans from international lending agencies like the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and European Union. The decision to keep Pakistan in the grey list came after a slew of meetings of the 38 member nations, during which India had made its case against Pakistan's lack of compliance in tackling terror funding.
The FATF also issued Pakistan with a deadline of October 2019 to meet its commitment to crack down on terror financing, after which a review will decide if the Prime Minister Imran Khan-led country is to get blacklisted or not. According to reports, Pakistan was placed in the grey list in June 2018.
Marshall Billingslea, president of the FATF, said that "multiple meetings" had been held with delegations from Pakistan and a high-level commitment of "identifying and investigating the widest range of terror funding activities" had been issued by the country. "They understood what they were committing to, and we expect that the deadline for the same will be met," Billingslea said.
"In the case of Pakistan, a number of important and systemic deficiencies were identified and a high-level commitment to fix those deficiencies was made and an action plan was agreed upon by all. Time is ticking, and we expect that the Government of Pakistan will honour its commitment to the cause as all member nations are expected to do," he asserted in a media briefing on Friday.
NDTV quoted an intelligence official last week as saying, "A dossier, nailing the culpability of Pakistan in the terror attack in Pulwama will be given to the FATF," adding that India was intending to "expose" Pakistan's links with terrorism.
In June 2018, Pakistan made a similar commitment with the FATF and the Asia Pacific Group to tackle such deficiencies, News18 reported. To avoid being blacklisted in October this year, it had committed that “law enforcement agencies are identifying and investigating the widest range of terror funding activities and that terror funding investigations and prosecutions target designated persons and entities, and persons and entities acting on behalf of or at the direction of the designated persons or entities", according to the report.
After the Pulwama attack on 14 February, India has sought to isolate cash-strapped Pakistan on international platforms. India highlighted its neighbour's "complicity" in the incident during the FATF meetings, saying Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad had taken responsibility for the attack.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Feb 22, 2019 16:17:19 IST