India eyes ‘downgrading’ of Pak before IMF,World Bank

India eyes ‘downgrading’ of Pak before IMF,World Bank

Agency News

New Delhi, Feb 17 : In its pursuits to build up pressure on Pakistan to act against terror groups and to make it feel economic distress, India will be now approaching Financial Action Task Force (FATF) with a dossier on Pakistani agencies' links with the JeM and how the terror group is being aided by them.

The FATF can 'blacklist' Pakistan if convinced of its role in the Pulwama attack and that would essentially mean taking a crucial step what "may lead to downgrading" of Pakistan by global lenders such as IMF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and European Union.

The FATF is holding Plenary and Working Group meetings in from Sunday. The deliberations would continue till February 22. The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions. The cash-strapped Pakistan is seeking its 13th bailout since the late 1980s.

The central bank in Pakistan reportedly has only $8bn left in foreign reserves and faces a balance of payments crisis. Since August 2018 after former cricketer Imran Khan took over the reigns of power, Pakistan has been looking for 'help' from friendly countries in order to reduce the size of the bail-out package that Pakistan will likely need from the International Monetary Fund.

Addressing a function at Jhansi in UP on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said Pakistan is moving around with 'begging bowl' but the help from international community is not coming so easily.

The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats. In June 2018, Pakistan was named on its 'Grey list' by the FATF for International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG) monitoring.

Essentially, India's argument will be based on the ground that the "freedom and impunity" with which the designated terrorists like Hafiz Saed and entities like Jamaat-Ud-Dawaa, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed continue to operate in Pakistan is not in keeping with commitments made by Pakistan.

Islamabad had pledged before FATF to address the global concerns regarding its implementation of the FATF standards for countering terror financing and anti-money laundering.

In a statement in June 30, MEA had said - "We hope that the FATF Action plan shall be complied within a time-bound manner and credible measures would be taken by Pakistan to address global concerns related to terrorism emanating from any territory under its control".

The FATF identifies jurisdictions with weak measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The FATF has reviewed over 80 countries and publicly identified 68 of them. Of these 68, 55 have since made the necessary reforms to address their 'anti money landering' weaknesses and have been removed from the process. (UNI )