Pakistan has been shifted to a list that demands close monitoring by the global terror financing watchdog FATF after Islamabad was found to have failed to deliver on most compliance parameters set for it.
The FATF’s Asia Pacific group that met over two days in Australia’s capital Canberra to review the progress found that Pakistan was non-compliant on 32 of the 40 compliance parameters. On 11 parameters, Pakistan was adjudged as low on 10.
“The Asia Pacific group decided to place Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List for failure to meet its standards,” said a senior government official familiar with the developments.
The setback for Pakistan comes ahead of the Financial Action Task Force, or FATF’s plenary in October.
At this meeting, the global watchdog is to decide if Pakistan should continue in the grey list or be downgraded to the black list’ that entail harsher financial sanctions. Pakistan had been given time till October to improve its counter-terror finance operations or face further action.
Government officials suggest that New Delhi wants the action that FATF takes to be commensurate to Pakistan’s success or failure to deliver on the 27-point action plan that the global watchdog had set for it.
But there has been recognition in New Delhi that the chance of Pakistan being downgraded to the blacklist at the plenary are remote after China took over FATF’s presidency. A top official at China’s central bank, People’s Bank of China Xiangmin Liu had taken over as FATF president on July 1 from Marshal Billingslea of the US
India has, however, been engaging with other FATF members to hold Pakistan accountable on terrorism, money laundering and terror financing. For now, India’s assessment is that Islamabad is still tiptoeing around the basic problem of terrorist support and trying to impress the international community and groups such as FATF with cosmetic steps.
Like the cases registered against numerous leaders and activists of terror groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Jamat-ud-Dawah (JuD), Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FiF). But most of the arrests were made under a provision that does not let the authorities hold a suspect beyond 60 days. Pakistan has repeatedly detained JeM founder Masood Azhar and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed mostly under laws that provide for detention for apprehension of breach of peace.