The terror funding watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has given Pakistan a new deadline of February 2020, to act against terror funding. After June last year, Pakistan has been under colossal global scrutiny over terror funding. It was put under the ‘Grey List’ of nations by the watchdog, Financial Action Task Force. Pakistan was given a deadline by October 2019 to fix its performance on all parameters. It was notified that if Pakistan fails to act, then the nation will be put under the ‘Black List’.
Following this, currently, Pakistan is under ‘Grey List’ of nations wherein the domestic laws are considered weak to seize the trials of money laundering and terrorist backing.
What is FATF?
The Paris-based FATF is a global anti-money laundering watchdog that also applies its scanner to money laundering as a means to finance terror activities across the world. It places countries in three categories – White List, Black List and Grey List.
The ‘White List‘ is a list of nations that comply with most of the FATF’s parameters; it includes countries like India and the US. The ‘Grey List‘ includes countries classified as ‘high risk’ nations; it includes conflict-ridden nations like Syria and Yemen. It also includes countries like Pakistan. On the other hand, it also contains countries that may be tax havens, such as Panama. A total of nine nations are on the ‘Grey List’. Currently, the ‘Black List‘ contains only two countries – North Korea and Iran.
FATF will take the final decision on Pakistan’s position by next February.
On the last day of meeting in Paris, the FATF on Friday asserted –“Strongly urge Pakistan to complete its full action plan by February 2020 swiftly. 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.”
Delegates from 205 nations as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations, the World Bank and other organisations also attended the meeting.
India, along with other member countries of the FATF, has charged Pakistan in failing to take concrete action against Hafiz Saeed, Maula Masood Azhar and other UN-designated terrorists. They pointed out that its anti-terror law remains low when compared to the standards set by the international body.
If Pakistan does take any actions and continue to remain in the ‘Grey Lits’, it will be complicated for them to get financial aids from International bodies like the IMF, the World Bank and the European Union. This will further make its financial condition of the country in the grave.
Islamabad is obligated to report its performance to the group every three months.