Pakistan evades FATF blacklisting, but danger far from over

According to Pakistan-based Dawn News, authorities in the neighbouring country believe that the fear for them is far from over.

Pakistan evades FATF blacklisting, but danger far from over
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India’s recent attempt to place Pakistan on the blacklist of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) could not go through successfully, as countries like Turkey, Malaysia and China backing Islamabad over the issue. However, according to Pakistan-based Dawn News, authorities in the neighbouring country believe that the fear for them is far from over.

The report in Dawn News quoted an official of Pakistan’s foreign ministry as saying that though the imminent threat of blacklisting was over, the country had already crossed the January 2019 deadline to complete the action plan to completely block money laundering and other financial loopholes.

The FATF had in February raised concerns over the passage of the deadline. Releasing a statement in this regard, the money laundering watchdog had said that “limited progress” had been made by Pakistan, urging it to “swiftly complete” its action plan.

At a plenary meeting of the watchdog in February 2018, Pakistan was placed on watchlist of the countries where terrorist outfits were allowed to raise funds.

Later, Pakistan was placed on the grey list of the FATF. In a meeting of FATF’s Asia Pacific Group in China in May, concerns were raised over the actions taken by Pakistan to check terror financing and money laundering.

Pakistan has failed to complete 25 of the 27 action points given by the international terror financing watchdog to check funding to terrorist groups such as LeT and JeM and frontal groups like Jamat-ud-Dawah and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation.

The Paris-headquartered Financial Action Task Force has asked Pakistan to explain whether it has launched any investigation into the USD seven million allocated to maintain schools, madrasas, clinics and ambulances originally operated by terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, and LeT fronts Jamat-ud-Dawah and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation.

The FATF implements UN designations, which do not warrant arrest. They ask only for freeze of funds, denial of access to weapons and travel embargo. The financial watchdog also wants nations to impose penalties that are proportionate and dissuasive.

(With PTI Inputs)