The failure of Pakistan in fulfilling six key obligations of the FATF, including action against two of India’s most wanted terrorist Maulana Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed, and the sudden disappearance of more than 4,000 terrorists from its official list will most likely lead its contribution in the “grey list” of the Global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, as the per the officials.
The virtual plenary of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), is to be held on 21-23 October. It will take the final call on Pakistan’s continuation on its grey list after a thorough review of Islamabad’s performance in fulfilling the global commitments and standards in the fight against money laundering and terror financing.
The FATF had given Pakistan a total of 27 action plan obligations for completely terror financing of which so far it has cleared 21 but has failed in some of the key tasks, an official privy to the developments said.
The mandates which Pakistan has failed include action against all UN-designated terrorists; like Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) chief Azhar, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Seed; and the outfit’s operational commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
Besides, FATF has strongly noted the fact that; there was the sudden disappearance of the names of more than 4,000 terrorists from its original list of 7,600; under Schedule IV of its Anti Terrorism Act.
The official said, “Under these circumstances, it is almost certain; that Pakistan will continue in the FATF grey list.” Also, the four nominating countries, the United States, Britain, France; and Germany are not satisfied with Islamabad’s commitment to taking strong action against the terror groups operating from its soil.
Azhar, Saeed, and Lakhvi are most wanted terrorists in India; for their involvement in numerous terrorist acts; including the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes; and the bombing of a CRPF bus at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir last year.
With Pakistan’s continuation in the grey list, it is increasingly becoming difficult; for Islamabad to get financial aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF); World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB); and the European Union, thus further enhancing problems for the neighbouring country which is in a precarious financial situation.
The FATF will also judge if competent authorities in Pakistan; were cooperating and taking action to identify and taking enforcement action against illegal money or value transfer services; and had proven implementation of cross-border currency and; bearer negotiable instruments controls at all ports of entry, including applying effective, proportionate; and dissuasive sanctions.
The country’s outstanding action areas also include effective implementation; of targeted financial sanctions against all 1,267 and 1,373 designated terrorists and; those acting for or on their behalf including preventing the raising and moving of funds, identifying; and freezing assets; and prohibiting access to funds and financial service; another official said.