Orlando, Jun 22 : Multilateral financial watchdog -- Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has expressed its deep concern over non fulfilment of action plan by Pakistan in curbing the menace of counter-terrorist financing.
"The FATF expresses concern that not only did Pakistan fail to complete its action plan items with January deadlines, it also failed to complete its action plan items due May 2019. 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." FATF said in a statement after plenary meeting in Orlando.FATF also warned Pakistan of deciding extreme step if it fails to achieve its target by October this year."Otherwise, the FATF will decide the next step at that time for insufficient progress." the statement reads.
FATF noted that despite Pakistan took steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime, including the recent development of its TF risk assessment addendum -- it still fails to demonstrate a proper understanding of Pakistan’s transnational TF risk.Soon after FATF warning to Pakistan, India on Saturday said it 'expects' its western neighbour to take all necessary steps to "effectively implement" the action plan fully within the remaining time frame.
Islamabad has been on the global money laundering watchdog’s radar since June 2018, when it was placed on a grey list for terrorist financing and money laundering risks after an assessment of the country’s financial system and security mechanism.
Turkey was the only country that had opposed the move backed by the United States, the United Kingdom and Pakistan’s arch-rival India. However, Islamabad’s long-time ally, Beijing abstained.
Moving one step further, New Delhi -- co-chair of the joint group of FATF and Asia Pacific Group -- wants Islamabad to be placed on the Paris-based watchdog’s blacklist of the countries, which fail to meet international standards in combating financial crimes.According to the 36-nation FATF charter, the support of at least three member states is essential to avoid the blacklisting.
Islamabad requires at least 15 out of 36 votes to move out of the watchdog’s grey list, which is causing an estimated loss of $10 billion per year.Earlier, Pakistan was given 15 months to get its act together on a host of issues. It has until October, before FATF decides whether to keep Pakistan on the grey list or blacklist it.