After being added to FATF ‘grey list’, Pakistan plans to curb terror financing: Report
The plan submitted by Pakistan to the FATF on Wednesday involves choking financing to militant groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud-Dawah, Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Haqqani Network and the Taliban.Updated: Jun 28, 2018 08:58 IST
Pakistan has committed itself to a 26-point action plan to be implemented over 15 months to curb terror financing following the Financial Action Task Force’s decision last year to put it on a watch list, according to a media report.
The plan, submitted at the FATF plenary meeting that began in Paris on Wednesday, requires Pakistani authorities to cooperate with international counterparts to choke financing to Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud-Dawah, Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Haqqani Network and the Taliban.
The FATF decided during its last plenary in February to place Pakistan on its “grey list” in June for failing to do enough to counter the financing of groups such as LeT, JuD and JeM. The move backed by the US and the UK was passed by the body that works to combat money laundering and terrorist financing after China and the Gulf Cooperation Council withdrew their opposition.
The FATF plenary is expected to make an announcement about placing Pakistan on the grey list on Friday after accepting Islamabad’s action plan.
The action plan was forwarded to the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) of the Asia Pacific Group (APG) last month. Islamabad will have to “deliver on the first goal by January next year and complete all 26 actions by September 2019”, The Express Tribune quoted its sources as saying.
The ICRG identified four key areas of concerns, including deficiencies in supervision of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regimes, illicit cross-border movement of currency by terror groups, progress in terror financing investigation and prosecution, and implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions 1267 and 1373 for curbing terror financing.
Global bodies had found deficiencies in enforcement of money laundering and terror financing controls by Pakistan’s financial institutions. Pakistan informed the FATF that it had imposed Rs 1.7 billion in penalties since 2015 on 31 banks for violating these controls. The banks are also no longer providing services to designated entities and individuals, the report said.
The global bodies also expressed concerns about lack of coordination between Pakistan’s federal and provincial authorities in investigating terror financing. To address these concerns, Pakistan committed that by January 2019, it will identify and assess domestic and trans-national terror financing risks and improve inter-agency coordination to combat such risks.
By January, Pakistan will also start financial inquiries of terror groups and their members and by September 2019, it will address the key concern of investigating the widest range of terror financing activities such as the collection, movement or use of funds.
These investigations will focus on curbing cash smuggling, narcotics trafficking, and funding of the terror groups such as LeT, JuD, FIF, JeM, Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Haqqani Network and Taliban.
Pakistan has also committed that it will address within six months concerns regarding delays in the freezing of assets and preventing the raising of funds by UN-designated persons such as JuD chief Hafiz Saeed.
First Published: Jun 28, 2018 08:48 IST