Pakistan continues to remain on the Enhanced blacklist of FATF

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Updated: August 23, 2019 3:53:19 PM

The APG which is which is a global watchdog for terror funding and money laundering has now put the neighboring country in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (Blacklist) as it was unable to comply with the standards set by the body.

pakistan on Enhanced blacklist, Financial Action Task Force, pakistan, asia pacific group, Asia Pacific group, Article 370 in jammu and kashmirAccording to officials, with the October meeting just a month later, Pakistan which has been letting terrorists use its soil for terror attacks has to now focus on FATF’s 27 point action plan if it was to get off the blacklist. (Reuters photo)

Ahead of the October meeting, in a major setback, Pakistan has failed to meet the standards set by Asia Pacific Group (APG) of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and has to remain on the grey list.

The APG which is which is a global watchdog for terror funding and money laundering has now put the neighboring country in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (Blacklist) as it was unable to comply with the standards set by the body.

In a seven-hour meeting spread over two days in Canberra, Australia, out of the 40 compliance parameters of terror financing and money laundering, Pakistan was non-compliant on just 32. The APG has firmly put Pakistan in the dock. It has adjudged Pakistan being non-compliant on 32 of the 40 compliance parameters and 10 out of the 11 effectiveness parameters.

Also read: Article 370 and J&K bifurcation: India reaches out to South American nations

On 11 effectiveness parameters of terror financing and money laundering, Pakistan was adjudged as low on 10. The official said despite its efforts, Pakistan could not convince the 41-member plenary to upgrade it on any parameter.

According to officials, with the October meeting just a month later, Pakistan which has been letting terrorists use its soil for terror attacks has to now focus on FATF’s 27 point action plan if it was to get off the blacklist.

“The listing of Pakistan by the Asia Pacific group in the FATF will tantamount to vindication that Pakistan has definitely involved in money laundering and terror financing activities and could lead to them being blacklisted by the FATF in its October meeting in Paris. Instead of fighting and controlling terrorists Pakistan has only taken proforma action against major terrorists through fake FIRs but this will eventually hurt them irreparably. It has failed on almost all parameters. This could endanger the IMF bailout package,” says Ambassador Anil Trigunayat.

Says Brig SK Chatterji (retd) “There’s a reason for both India and Afghanistan to compliment APG. These two countries have suffered the most from Pakistan based terrorist groups. Hopefully, the fact of Pakistan having been all but blacklisted will be viewed with due concern by the Americans, the UK and nations that have not come out with an affirmative response to India revoking provisions of Article 370 in J&K. It should also serve as a red flag to a fairly large number of countries that have been keeping the Pakistan economy from collapsing by providing billions of dollars in loans, grants, and deferred payment facilities.”

After all, the writing is on the wall: money that they provide is being recycled for providing global terrorism more muscle. India needs to use the opportunity thrown by the listing of Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up list of Asia Pacific Group to the fullest and mobilize world opinion against Pakistan. It will also have to ensure that the FATF, when it meets to decide on the Pakistani case later in October this year, finally blacklists the rogue nation,” Chatterji suggests.

In his opinion, “In case Pakistan be blacklisted, the credit rating will slip. It will also be difficult for Pakistan to draw from the International Monetary Fund, attract investments from abroad and convince other nations to continue bailing it out. Of course, the Chinese would possibly still be there, with conditionalities that will impinge on Pakistani sovereignty.”

According to Prof Rajesh Rajagopalan, School of International Studies, JNU “This is not a surprise, because Pakistan has not really done anything seriously to curtail its support for terror or its financing. Though Pakistan takes some superficial steps — arresting some terror group leaders, for example — it is clear to most countries now that these are being done only to temporarily satisfy the international community rather than as a consequence of Pakistan fundamentally reassessing terror as a state policy. And the international community’s patience with such tactics is running low. This will also, of course, have an impact on the plenary meeting later in the year. If the regional group is unconvinced, we can assume that the global community will be even less so.”

Says former Secretary (East) MEA, Anil Wadhwa, ” The inaction by Pakistan on curbing terror and lack of concrete action on Training camps which engage in cross border terrorism does not inspire any confidence in the international community towards Pakistani seriousness. The statements coming out of Pakistan over the last few weeks and reports of gathering Afghan fighters along with BAT teams on the border with Pakistan to infiltrate India are actions. Not lots on the international community . Pakistan needs to tackle terror and must be dissuaded from active compliance with terrorist elements . The fatf has acted correctly by putting Pakistan back on the black list .”

For Pakistan, it is a major embarrassment as it is reeling under acute financial crisis and if it continues to remain on the blacklist it will continue to lose $ 10 billion. Unfortunately for Pakistan, even in May this year, APG which met in China in mid-May was not impressed by Pakistan’s action on terror financing.

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