Pressure on Pakistan, they have to act: Army chief Bipin Rawat after FATF’s warning to Islamabad
Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat has said there is pressure on Pakistan to take action against terror after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) warned the neighbouring country of blacklisting it, news agency ANI reported on Saturday.
“There is pressure on them. They have to take action. We would like them to work towards restoring peace. To be on such a ‘Grey List’ is a setback for any nation,” Gen Rawat said, according to ANI.
The global finance watchdog had warned Islamabad on Friday that it only had until February to improve its counter-terror financing operations or face international action.
FATF said Pakistan had failed to deliver on 22 out of 27 items in an action plan drawn up after the country was placed in the grey list in June 2018.
Harsher sanctions and greater global scrutiny of financial transactions, which could hit investments and business, are among actions taken against countries if included in the blacklist.
The FATF listed 10 steps it expects Pakistan to take to counter-terror financing, including targeted actions against UN-designated global terrorists such as Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar.
Without naming specific terrorists, an official statement said Pakistan must effectively implement targeted financial sanctions against all terrorists designated under UN Security Council resolutions 1267 and 1373 and those acting on their behalf, including preventing the raising and moving of funds, freezing assets, and prohibiting access to funds and financial services.
People familiar with the developments said Pakistan was saved from being included in the blacklist because of the stance adopted by China, Turkey and Malaysia; opposition by three of the 39 members of FATF is enough to block a move within the watchdog.
India’s global partners in the fight against terror, such as France, worked hard behind the scenes in recent days to ensure Pakistan didn’t get off lightly.
Pakistan’s ministry of finance said in a statement on Friday that the country’s delegation reaffirmed its political commitment to fully implement the action plan.
The FATF’s findings were in line with a report earlier this month by one of its regional affiliates, the Asia Pacific Group (APG), which said Pakistan was fully compliant with only one of 40 recommendations to counter terror financing and money laundering.