The Financial Times
Stephanie Findlay in New Delhi
– Oct 18, 2019, 6:02 AM
Pakistan was given an explicit warning that it must do more to curb terrorist financing, as it avoided being blacklisted by a global financial watchdog over its failure to tackle the issue. The Financial Action Task Force, the standard-setter on…
arvindmahajanPakistan was given an explicit warning that it must do more to curb terrorist financing, as it avoided being blacklisted by a global financial watchdog over its failure to tackle the issue.
The Financial Action Task Force, the standard-setter on money laundering and terrorism funding, ruled it would keep Pakistan on its “greylist” until its next review in four months’ time, a boost for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government as it works to overcome a balance of payments crisis and implement IMF reforms.
“Pakistan needs to do more and it needs to do it faster,” FATF president Xiangmin Liu said at a press conference in Paris on Friday. “FATF is giving this very clear warning: if by February 2020 the country has not made significant progress we would consider further actions.” Mr Liu confirmed that those actions included placing Pakistan on the blacklist.
The decision not to blacklist Pakistan, which would have delivered a severe blow to its already weak economy, represents a victory for Islamabad and ally China, which lobbied on its behalf. It is also a setback for India, which had vigorously campaigned to have its rival punished following the terrorist attack earlier this year that brought the nuclear-armed neighbours to the brink of war.
The FATF on Friday revealed that Pakistan had only addressed five out of 27 action items to tackle terror financing risks. To avoid blacklisting, Islamabad needed to demonstrate it had taken action on illegal money and cash couriers, that successful prosecutions were happening, and that terrorist fundraising was being restricted.
If blacklisted alongside Iran and North Korea, Pakistan could face economic sanctions that would deter investment. In the case of North Korea, FATF has urged its 39 members — composed of 37 member jurisdictions and two regional organisations, the European Commission and the Gulf Cooperation Council — to enforce “targeted financial sanction
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