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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 14 November 2019 10.20 PM IST

Pak blacklisting in 2020 "highly probable": Terror funding watchdog FATF

pakistan

NEW DELHI: Pakistan will remain in the "grey list" of global terror funding watchdog FATF after it was given a fresh deadline of February 2020 to act against terror funding. Islamabad got four months' time after it was warned of action by the FATF if it fails to complete its full action plan.

The terror funding watchdog said the possibility of a formal black-listing of Pakistan in February 2020 is now "highly probable", officials said.

Pakistan is currently in the "grey list" of countries whose domestic laws are considered weak to tackle the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will take a final decision on Pakistan's position in February next year. The FATF noted that Pakistan was able to address only five out of 27 actionable items to rein in terror funding, officials said. The terror funding watchdog said there was as consensus on retaining Pakistan in the grey list based on its poor performance on the 27-point Action Plan, according to officials.

"Strongly urge Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2020, otherwise should significant and sustainable progress not be made across the full range of its action plan by next Plenary, the FATF will take action including urging members to advise their financial institutions to give special attention to business relations/transactions with Pakistan," the FATF said on Friday, on the last day of its meeting in Paris.

The meeting was attended by representatives from 205 countries, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations, the World Bank and other organisations. China, Turkey and Malaysia had reportedly supported Pakistan at the FAFT meeting. A country needs the support of at least three other countries to avoid being black-listed.

India and several other member countries of the FATF have charged Pakistan with failing to take concrete action against Hafiz Saeed, Maula Masood Azhar and other UN-designated terrorists, pointing out that its anti-terror law still remains out of sync with standards set by the international body.

The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related problems that are a threat to the integrity of the international financial system.

Iran and North Korea are the only countries on the blacklist so far. Pakistan was placed on the "grey list" by the FATF in June last year and was asked to complete a plan of action by October 2019, or face the risk of being placed on the blacklist.

If Pakistan continues to remain on the ''grey list'', it would be very difficult for the country to get any financial aid from the IMF, the World Bank and the European Union, making its financial condition even more precarious.

Islamabad is obligated to report its performance to the group every three months. Earlier this month, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had also spoken about the pressure Islamabad is facing from the anti-terror agency to crack down on terror groups operating from within Pakistan.

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TAGS: PAK BLACKLISTING IN 2020, FATF AGAINST PAKISTAN, TERROR FUNDING WATCHDOG
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