Pakistan got a reprieve for next four months on Friday when the international terror financing watchdog FATF formally announced that Islamabad will remain on its grey list till February 2020.
The announcement to this effect was made by FATF President Xiangmin Liu after a five-day plenary of the group in French capital Paris.
The terror financing watchdog expressed serious concerns over the lack of progress in addressing terror financing risks and directed Islamabad to take more measures for the complete elimination of terror financing and money laundering.
“The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2020. Otherwise, should significant and sustainable progress not be made across the full range of its action plan by the next Plenary, the FATF will take action,” the FATF warned in a statement
“Since June 2018, when Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) to strengthen its anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terror financing (CTF) regime and to address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies, Pakistan has made progress towards improving its AML/CFT regime, including the recent development of its money laundering / terror financing risk assessment,” the FATF conceded.
The FATF pointed out that Pakistan has only largely addressed five of 27 action items till date in controlling funding to terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, responsible for series of attacks in India.
The global watchdog for terror financing and money laundering had placed Pakistan in the grey list of countries responsible for terror-financing in June 2018, presenting Islamabad with a 27-point action plan to adopt strict anti-money laundering measures till September 2019.
The FATF meeting, which started on October 13, had discussed the steps taken by Pakistan till April 2019.
It was attended by representatives from 205 countries and also from the International Monetary Fund, UN, World Bank and other organisations.
The FATF, which has 39 members including India, sets guidelines for fighting terrorism financing and monitors their compliance.