Islamabad: The global terror-financing watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), retained Pakistan on its grey or ‘increased monitoring list’ even as it acknowledged “significant progress” made on the entire 27-point action plan Pakistan had committed to for checking money-laundering and terrorist financing. The Paris-based body said Pakistan had now largely addressed 24 of the 27 action items, and urged it to swiftly complete its full action plan before June 2021 as all action plan deadlines had already expired.
Importantly for India, one of the three issues yet to be fully addressed by Pakistan relates to effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists, specifically those acting for on their behalf. India maintains that Pakistan has continued to provide safe haven to UNSC proscribed terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar.
While deciding to not go for onsite evaluation at this stage, FATF urged Pakistan to work on implementing the three remaining items in its action plan to address its strategically important deficiencies, namely by demonstrating terrorist financing investigations and prosecutions against target persons and entities acting on behalf or at the direction of the designated persons or entities and by demonstrating that terrorist financing prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions. Responding to queries on whether or not Pakistan risked being blacklisted after June, FATF president Marcus Pleyer said the organisation doesn’t usually blacklist countries as long as they showed progress in implementing the actionplan.