FATF tells Pakistan to curb terror financing by October or face consequences

Florida: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Friday told Pakistan to "swiftly" complete its action plan to curb terror financing by October or face consequences. The warning was made in a statement issued by the financial watchdog following a plenary meeting in Orlando here.

Pakistan is currently on the "grey list" of countries that have been inadequate in curbing money laundering and terror financing. The country has already missed two prior deadlines -- in January and May 2019 -- to complete their action plan, as per Pakistani media reports.

"The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan by October 2019 when the last set of action plan items are set to expire...Otherwise, the FATF will decide the next step at that time for insufficient progress," the organisation stated.

India has previously urged the FATF to put Pakistan on a blacklist of countries that fail to meet international standards in stopping terror financing following the listing of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the United Nations.

At least three FATF member countries need to support Pakistan to avoid being blacklisted. Quoting a Pakistani official, Anadolu Agency reported that China, Turkey and Malaysia have supported Pakistan, ensuring that "there is no imminent threat of blacklisting" by FATF.

The 27-point action plan was given to Pakistan by FATF after it was placed on the grey list in June last year. It was given until January 2019 to comply with it -- a deadline which was missed by the country.

Pakistan was asked to do more on 18 of the 27 points in a meeting held in China's Guangzhou last month. As per FATF guidelines quoted by media reports, Islamabad requires at least 15 out of 36 votes to be removed from the 'grey list'. Following Friday's meeting, Pakistan reiterated "its commitment to take all necessary measures to ensure completion of the Action Plan in a timely manner," as per an official statement by the country's Finance Ministry.

"It (FATF) acknowledged the steps taken by Pakistan to improve its Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime and highlighted the need for further actions for implementing the Action Plan. FATF will undertake the next review of Pakistan's Progress in October 2019," the statement issued by the Pakistani ministry said.

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