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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Global anti-terror body FATF pans Pakistan, gives 4 months to fix systems

If blacklisted, Islamabad faces financial consequences and economic setbacks at a time when its economy is facing a balance of payment crisis.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2019 18:37 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
In his speech at the UN General Assembly last month, PM Khan had accused India of attempting to get his country blacklisted by the FATF which he signalled, could ruin the country.
In his speech at the UN General Assembly last month, PM Khan had accused India of attempting to get his country blacklisted by the FATF which he signalled, could ruin the country.(Reuters)
         

The Financial Action Task Force, the global terror financing and money laundering watchdog, has severely indicted Pakistan for failing to deliver on most of its 27 targets and warned that the global body would be forced to blacklist it if Islamabad does not set its house in order within the next four months, according to two people familiar with the developments.

“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 which could include the FATF calling on its members and urging all jurisdictions to advise their financial institutions to give special attention to business relations and transactions with Pakistan,” the global anti-terror financing body said.

An Indian counter-terror official said the finding and the strong comments were a clear indictment of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s track record, irrespective of his many commitments, to fight terror with any modicum of seriousness.

Watch: Narrow escape for Pakistan from FATF blacklist, given 4 month lifeline 

If blacklisted, Islamabad would have faced financial consequences and economic setbacks at a time when its economy is facing a balance of payment crisis. It is a prospect that has had Prime Minister Imran Khan concerned. In his speech at the UN General Assembly last month, PM Khan had accused India of attempting to get his country blacklisted by the FATF which he signalled, could ruin the country.

Iran continues to be on the FATF blacklist but the FATF statement is much harsher this time. People familiar with the development said the European consensus against Iran appeared to be weakening with some countries calling for action against Iran if it fails to deliver by February 2020.

“If before February 2020, Iran does not enact the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions in line with FATF standards, then FATF will fully lift the suspension of counter-measures and call on all members to apply effective counter-measures,” a FATF document said.