FATF slams Pak for limited progress in curbing terror funding, asks to complete action plan by May

FATF said Pakistan did not "demonstrate a proper understanding of the terror financing risks posed by outfits like JuD, LeT, JeM, and persons affiliated with the Taliban.

FATF slams Pakistan for limited progress in curbing terror funding, fixes May deadline for completing action plan
Updated: 22 Feb 2019 06:56 PM
Paris: Slamming Pakistan for not doing enough to restrict terror funding and money laundering, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Friday refused to take the country out of the 'grey list' and put a timeline of May 2019 to make the required progress.
"Given the limited progress on action plan items ... the FATF urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan, particularly those with timelines of May 2019," according to a statement of FATF.
Furthermore, Pakistan's commitment to a 27-point action plan will be reviewed in June and October this year. If Pakistan fails to comply with the action plan then the country could be blacklisted, according to reports.
In a strong-worded statement, the FATF said that although Pakistan made a "high-level political commitment" since June 2018 to address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies, it did not "demonstrate a proper understanding of the terror financing risks posed by outfits like JuD, LeT, JeM, and persons affiliated with the Taliban."
"Pakistan should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies, including adequately demonstrating its proper understanding of the risks posed by the terrorist groups and demonstrating that competent authorities are cooperating and taking action to identify and take enforcement action against illegal money or value transfer services," the statement added.
The global terror financing watchdog urged the authorities to identify cash couriers and enforcing controls on the illicit movement of currency and understand the risk of cash couriers that could be used for terror funding.
It said that Pakistan should improve inter-agency coordination including between provincial and federal authorities on combating terror financing risks and demonstrate that law enforcement agencies are identifying and investigating the widest range of such activities.
The FATF said that "terror funding investigations and prosecutions should target designated persons and entities, and persons and entities acting on behalf or at the direction of the designated persons or entities."
"Demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions (supported by a comprehensive legal obligation) against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf, including preventing the raising and moving of funds, identifying and freezing assets (movable and immovable), and prohibiting access to funds and financial services," it added.
Last June, Pakistan was placed on the 'grey list' for its inaction to clamp down on terror funding and money laundering and was lobbying hard to be taken off from this list during the FATF's week-long plenary meeting in Paris.
It is to be noted that Pakistan was put on FATF's 'grey list' between 2012 and 2015 as well.
Reportedly, India had made a strong case against Pakistan’s non-compliance in curbing terror funding, in the wake of the Pulwama attack on February 14 that left about 40 CRPF personnel dead, in an attack orchestrated by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the worst in three decades.
Pakistan's inclusion in the 'blacklist' would mean serious implications for the country's debt-ridden economy.

Such a move will lead to less international investment and downgrading of ratings by international banking and credit rating agencies, thereby, affecting the international image of the country.