FATF: Pak remains in terror ‘grey list’, gets 8-point to-do list from global watchdog
Pakistan has been handed out an 8-point list by global watchdog FATF that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government will have to deliver on within the next four months. The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, which has retained Pakistan on its ‘grey list’, has warned Islamabad that it could end up on the blacklist when it makes a fresh assessment in four months.
Pakistan had last returned to the FATF ‘grey list’ in June 2018 when the global anti-terror funding watchdog found deficiencies in Islamabad’s money laundering and anti-terror funding laws and their implementation. It had come up with a 27-point to-do list for Pakistan and given it 15 months to get working.
As Islamabad slipped on the deadlines, the FATF has more than once wielded the threat of placing it in the black list if it did not move fast enough. This would entail harsher sanctions and intense scrutiny of all financial transactions. Currently, only Iran and North Korea are on the black list.
This time, the 39-member FATF plenary meeting found Pakistan had failed to deliver on 13 of the 27 points in the action plan that it had pledged to implement. Barring Turkey, the 39-member multilateral watchdog expressed serious concern at Pakistan’s missing another deadline to curb terror financing risks emanating from its territory.
As part of the 8 points that Pakistan should focus on, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government has been told to demonstrate that his security agencies detect and probe the “widest range” of terror financing and these investigations target designated individuals and terror groups. PM Khan, for one, would also have to show that the probes culminate in “effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions” (convictions).
Another pointer for Khan’s administration, which if implemented could break the back of terrorism in his country, requires the government to implement “targeted financial sanctions” against all UN designated terrorists and prohibiting their access to funding.
Here is the list of eight points that Pakistan has been told to deliver on to address strategic deficiencies.
(1) demonstrate remedial actions and sanctions are applied in cases of anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regimes
(2) demonstrate competent authorities identify and act against illegal money or value transfer services
(3) demonstrating implementation of cross-border currency and Bearer-Negotiable Instruments controls at ports of entry including effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions
(4) demonstrate that law enforcement agencies identify, probe and prosecute the widest range of terror funding activity. This should also cover designated persons and entities and those acting on their behalf
(5) demonstrate that terror financing prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions
(6) demonstrate effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against UN designated terrorists and prevent them from raising or moving funds
(7) demonstrate enforcement against terror financing violations including administrative and criminal penalties
(8) demonstrate that facilities and services owned or controlled by designated persons are deprived of access and use of their resources