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Pak close to being ‘blacklisted’ by Financial Action Task Force Featured

Post by  GNN International Desk 23 Sep 2019 BE_THE_FIRST_TO_COMMENT 33
Imran Khan

Pakistan appears to be falling grossly short of delivery on the 27-point action plan prepared by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to help it escape ‘black listing’,

with sources monitoring its actions against terror financing indicating that Islamabad has delivered on only six of the 27 points so far. ‘Black listing’ by FATF stands to choke Pakistan’s access to international finance.

Pakistan currently figures on the FATF ‘grey list’ and is up for a final review of its status at the FATF plenary meeting in Paris next month.

The objectives of the Financial Action Task Force are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to integrity of the international financial system.

Sources monitoring Pakistan’s implementation of FATF action plan said Pakistan has located only five of the 100-plus UN-designated terrorists currently said to be within its territory. The five include Lashkar-e-Taiba/Jamaat-ud-Dawah/Falah-i-Insaniyat boss Hafiz Mohammad Saeed.

Saeed was arrested by Pakistani authorities in July on terror financing charges. He has been in custody since.

As per reports coming from Pakistan, over 900 properties, including madrassas and dispensaries, have been seized for terror financing linkages. While 750 of these properties are allegedly linked to Falah-i-Insaniyat, 150 are associated with Jaish-e-Mohammad.

However, Pakistan is yet to identify the source of funding behind the seized properties or register any case against their owners.

Also, none of the properties seized are active terror facilities like armouries, weapons/explosives dumps or terror training camps.

As many as 23 terror funding cases were registered in July, one year after the FATF placed Pakistan on the grey list and asked it to deliver on a 27-point anti-terror financing plan to escape the blacklist.

Nearly 65 active terrorists have been named in these cases.

While Pakistan is making some effort to be seen as tough on terror financing and money laundering, this may be well short of FATF’s standards and could leave Islamabad at a high risk of being blacklisted.

Pakistan was given 15 months to get its act together on a host of issues. It has until October, before the FATF plenary meeting decides whether to keep it on the grey list or blacklist it.

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