Pakistan still in FATF's `Grey List' for terror financing
18 February 2020
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global watchdog acting against terror financing, at its meeting in Paris, France today decided to retain Pakistan in its ‘Grey List’, despite attempts by the South Asian country to influence decision making through friendly countries.
Reports said a sub-group of FATF recommended that Pakistan should continue to remain in 'Grey List' for failure to check terror funding, pending a final decision on Friday, sources said.
FATF’s week-long plenary session was to decide whether Pakistan would continue to remain in its 'Grey List' or put in the 'Black List'.
The UN anti-terror watchdog could also have decided to drop Pakistan from its lists had it been satisfied with the action taken by Islamabad against terrorist groups.
But Islamabad decided to keep fooling nations and the UIN instead. While of its terror head and Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed has been jailed in two terror financing cases, Islamabad has failed to prosecute LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and JeM chief Masood Azhar, hoping China, Malaysia and Turkey would bail it out.
During the FATF meeting, Turkey and Malaysia supported Pakistan and batted for it to be put in the 'White List'. However, that move failed with a majority of member states not being satisfied with Pakistan's efforts to curb terror funding.
India has maintained that terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen continue to operate from Pakistan and receive unwavering support from its establishment, including the Army. Stating that most of the activities of these terror groups are directed against it, India has asked FATF to act against Pakistan.
On Monday, the FATF did not name Pakistan but stated that several terrorist groups were using funds collected through illegal means and from supporters worldwide. The international anti-terror watchdog said terrorists have started to tap into new means of financing, including social media, which they were using to gain followers and other forms of material support.
"The FATF has tightened its standards on terrorist financing which has helped disrupt access to funds for groups such as ISIL and Al-Qaida. However, various groups still benefit from funds raised through illegal activity and from supporters worldwide," the Paris-headquartered FATF said.
"The FATF is also monitoring illicit financing via new payment methods, such as cryptocurrencies," it added.
The FATF had put Pakistan on its 'Grey List' in June 2018. It was then handed a plan of action with a deadline of October 2019 to complete the task, failing which the country would be placed on the 'Black List' which also has Iran and North Korea listed.
India doubts 'efficacy' of Mumbai-attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's conviction in Pakistan days before FATF meet. Hafiz Saeed, who is in the wanted list of global terrorists, will be released after FATF verdict.
The Pakistan court’s sentencing had come just four days ahead of the FATF Paris plenary. Recently, Pakistan had informed the FATF that JeM chief Masood Azhar and his family were "missing". It has further claimed that the presence of 16 UN-designated terrorists in Pakistan was confirmed, out of which "seven are dead".
In the October 2019 plenary, FATF had said that Pakistan had completed only five out of the 27 tasks that had been given to the country to put a check on terror funding. The FATF had in categorical words asked Pakistan to meet its commitments under the action plan by February 2020.