Global watchdog keeps Pakistan on terrorism financing ‘gray list’
21 Oct 2019

A global finance watchdog kept Pakistan off its terrorism financing blacklist on Friday but warned Islamabad it only had until February to improve or face international action.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, which tackles money laundering, said it was concerned that Pakistan had failed to complete the action plan first by a January deadline, then a May deadline and now October.

“The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2020,” it said in a statement.

“Otherwise, should significant and sustainable progress not be made across the full range of its action plan by the next Plenary, the FATF will take action.”

Pakistan, struggling with a balance of payments crisis that has forced it to turn to the International Monetary Fund for help, has promised a series of measures to crack down on terrorism financing.

But it still faces considerable scepticism over whether the announcements have been followed by effective action to curb militant groups that operate from its territory.

“Pakistan needs to do more and it needs to do it faster,” FATF President Xiangmin Liu told reporters in Paris.

The FATF already has Pakistan on its “gray list” of countries with inadequate controls over curbing money laundering and terrorism financing.

But its arch-rival India, which came close to war with its nuclear-armed neighbor earlier this year, wants Pakistan blacklisted. That would likely result in sanctions that could cripple Pakistan’s already struggling economy.

By Leigh Thomas and John Irish, Reuters, 18 October 2019

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