Pakistan has failed to complete 25 of the 27 action points given by the international terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to check funding to terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed and frontal groups like Jamat-ud-Dawah and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, sources said.
With this, multilateral lenders like the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the European Union may continue downgrading Pakistan, making its financial situation more precarious.
Pakistan is in deep trouble at the FATF meeting beginning Sunday in Florida in the US, people aware of the development said. "It has been unable to complete 25 of its 27 action points. It has one last chance, till its 15-month deadline ends in October 2019, when the FATF plenary will be held," one of them added.
The Paris-headquartered FATF has asked Pakistan to explain whether it has launched any investigation into the $7 million allocated to maintain schools, madrasas, clinics and ambulances originally operated by terror groups like LeT and JeM and their fronts. JuD and FIF are founded by terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed.
LeT is responsible for a number of strikes in India, including the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the hijacking of an Indian Airlines aircraft to Afghanistan in 1999. Most recently, it attacked a CRPF bus in Pulwama in February, killing 40 soldiers.
In June 2018, Pakistan was placed in the "grey" list and given a 27-point action plan by the FATF. This plan was reviewed at the last plenary in October 2018 and for the second time in February this year, when the country was again put into the "grey" list after India submitted new information about Pakistan-based terrorist groups.
The FATF continuing Pakistan in the "grey" list means its downgrading by IMF, World Bank, ADB, EU and also a reduction in risk rating by Moody's, S&P and Fitch. This will add to the financial problems of Pakistan, which is seeking aid from all possible international avenues.
The Pakistani authorities have shown the arrests of LeT, JeM, JuD and FIF cadre as action taken, but they were all arrested under its Maintenance of Public Order Act and not under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. Under the MPO Act, authorities cannot hold a detainee beyond 60 days.
Pakistan has detained JeM founder Masood Azhar and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed mostly under the laws that provide for detention for apprehension of breach of peace; they have never been prosecuted under anti-terror laws.
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