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Pakistan retained on ‘grey list’ of FATF

Islamabad told to comply with terror finance action by June

Pakistan has been retained on the ‘grey list’ of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for another four months, with a stern warning from the global watchdog that met in Paris (February 19-21) to complete the 27-point action plan it has been given by June 2020 or face being put on the ‘black list’.

“All deadlines in the action plan have expired. While noting recent and notable improvements, the FATF again expresses concern, given Pakistan’s failure to complete its action plan in line with the agreed timelines and in light of the terror financing risks emanating from the jurisdiction,” said a statement issued by the FATF’s plenary session on Friday.

According to the FATF summary report released in the evening, Pakistan needs to continue to work on eight specific areas, including demonstrating it is “identifying and investigating” all terror-financing activities in the country, freezing the funds of all designated terrorists and its prosecutions result in “effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions” against all terror entities.

Pakistan was given a September, 2019 deadline to complete the tasks that included shutting down all access to funding of United Nations Security Council-designated terrorist groups, including the Taliban, al-Qaeda, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed and prosecuting their leadership for any access to finance, as well as tightening laws and banking security norms.

In November last, after Pakistan was judged to have complied with only four points of the plan, the FATF extended the deadline to February, where its statement noted it had been cleared of 14 points. The FATF urged Pakistan to “swiftly complete” the remainder of the list. “Otherwise, should significant and sustainable progress, especially in prosecuting and penalising terror financing not be made by the next plenary, the FATF will take action, which could include the FATF calling on its members and urging all jurisdiction to advise their financial institutions to give special attention to business relations and transactions with Pakistan,” it said in its strongest warning yet.

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