India reminds Pakistan it must act soon on curbing terror financing

India reminds Pakistan it must act soon on curbing terror financing

Financial Action Task Force could blacklist Islamabad

Reminding Pakistan that it has less than three months to show progress on curbing terror financing, India said it expected the Pakistan government to fully comply with the action plan set out by the global body Financial Action Task Force (FATF) by taking “credible, verifiable, irreversible and sustainable measures” against terrorist groups on its soil.

On Friday, the FATF plenary session in Orlando, U.S., issued a stern statement at the end of its outcome document, telling Pakistan that it could face a blacklisting (the next step) at its next session in October, if it did not follow a 27-point check-list on bringing in stricter laws to curb the access of funds to terror groups inside the country, including the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad. The FATF put off the blacklist, reportedly due to support for Pakistan from China, Turkey and Malaysia, but the entire 38-member body stressed that Pakistan had missed two action plan deadlines.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India expected Pakistan “to take all necessary steps to effectively implement the FATF Action Plan fully within the remaining time frame, that is, by September 2019, in accordance with its political commitment to the FATF and take credible, verifiable, irreversible and sustainable measures to address global concerns related to terrorism and terrorist financing emanating from any territory under its control.”

The task force said Pakistan had failed to demonstrate a proper understanding of the “transnational” or cross-border terror financing risk it posed. It also listed 10 of the most important tasks, including the effective implementation of UN sanctions against designated entities and more robust prosecution of terror financiers.

India was not a sponsor of the original move to put Pakistan on a compliance ‘grey list’ last June, but has supported the U.S., the U.K., Germany and France in efforts to make Pakistan accountable. Pakistan was put on the grey list in 2018, the second time it has been on the list since 2012-2015.

A day after the FATF strictures, Pakistan said it remains committed to taking “all necessary measures to ensure completion of the Action Plan in a timely manner.”

However, it accused India of attempting to “politicise” FATF deliberations.

“Pakistan has consistently shared its concerns [on] high level political statements and media leaks from India to cast Pakistan in a negative light and plead for Pakistan’s downgrading,” Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said in a statement on Saturday where he referred to the MEA statement as “preposterous and unwarranted.”

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