The Asia Pacific arm of FATF (Financial Action Task Force) – global watchdog for terror financing and money laundering, has put Pakistan in the “Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List” for the country’s failure to meet its prescribed norms. This is just one step short of Islamabad being put on the Black List by FATF. This step is a big blow to Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan Army brass who have been intensely lobbying in international diplomatic circles to convince that the nation has taken steps to curb Islamic terrorism flourishing in its soil.
The FATF’s Asia Pacific Group was not convinced by Islamabad’s efforts and found that Pakistan was non-compliant on 32 of the 40 compliance parameters of terror financing and money laundering. The FATF APG meeting was held in Canberra, Australia and the discussions lasted over seven hours over two days.
“Asia Pacific Group of the FATF has placed Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (Black List) for their failure to meet the required norms,” said an Indian official who is privy to the developments.
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.
Pakistan will now have to take credible steps against Islamic terror groups operating from its soil to avoid being put on the FATF Black List in October, when the 15-month timeline ends on the FATF’s 27-point action plan. FATF’s black list would make it almost impossible for Pakistan to get monetary aid or funds from foreign donors. The country’s already devastated economy is expected to go into a tailspin of collapse if this happens.