Pakistan To Stay On Terror Financing "Grey List" Till Feb 2021

Pakistan had failed to effectively crack down against funding for terrorist activities and money laundering, India had said.

Pakistan failed to act against terrorists and front organisations for terror groups.

New Delhi:

Pakistan will stay on the "grey list" of the global terror financing watchdog till February next year, the body ruled on Friday, as the country failed to meet the conditions needed for unfettered access to international funds.

Pakistan, which has not met six of the 27 points it had to fulfill, "needs to do more", the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said, according to sources. It said an on-site visit by the FATF would only be done once Islamabad fulfills all conditions and only then Pakistan will have the curbs lifted.

"Pakistan has completed 21 out of 27 items. It means that the world has become safer but six deficiencies need to be repaired. We give them a chance to repair their progress and if not then a country will be pushed to the blacklist," the FATF said.

Indian government sources had told NDTV earlier that it expects Pakistan to stay on the grey list with the country demonstrably failing to act against organisations that act as fronts for terrorist outfits and some of the world's most wanted terrorists like Maulana Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed.

Pakistan had also failed to effectively crackdown on means of financing terror activities and money laundering and four nominating countries USA, UK, France and Germany were not fully satisfied with its role in Afghanistan, sources had said.

With Pakistan remaining in the grey list, it has become increasingly difficult for it to get financial aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union, exacerbating problems for the cash-strapped country.

The decision was taken at the end of the three-day virtual plenary of the FATF that was earlier scheduled in June. Pakistan got an unexpected breather after the global watchdog against financial crimes temporarily postponed all evaluations and follow-up deadlines in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

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The watchdog also put a general pause in the review process, thus giving additional four months to Pakistan to meet the requirements.

To avoid the blacklist, Pakistan has needed the support of three countries and it has been consistently backed by China, Turkey and Malaysia to dodge the label. Currently, North Korea and Iran are in the FATF blacklist. Pakistan needs 12 votes out of 39 to exit the grey list and move to the white list.

Pakistan was placed on the grey list by the FATF in June 2018 and was given a plan of action to complete it by October 2019. Since then, the country continues to be on that list due to its failure to comply with the FATF mandates.

The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

The FATF currently has 39 members including two regional organisations - the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council.

India is a member of the FATF consultations and its Asia Pacific Group.