FATF chief hints at blacklisting of Pakistan for terror financing


Washington:  Outgoing Financial Action Task Force (FATF) president, Marshall Billingslea, has hinted about the possibility to blacklisting Pakistan after the international financial watchdog’s meeting in Paris.

“Pakistan had ‘significant’ work to do. With regard to an action plan agreed in June 2018, they are ‘lacking in almost every respect’,” Billingslea said at a press briefing.

He added, “Pakistan was cautioned in February at the plenary that they had missed almost all of their January milestones. They were urged to not fail to meet the milestones in May. Unfortunately, Pakistan has yet again missed its May milestones.”

FATF has come down heavily on Pakistan for its “lack” of compliance with the 26-point action plan prepared for Islamabad to demonstrate its sincerity in fighting terrorism.

Billingslea said that if Pakistan fails to implement the action plan, FATF will consider the next course of action. The FATF president said that Pakistan is far behind and there is much that the country must do by September this year.

“Now the action plan itself is set to complete in September. So this (the June 16-21 Orlando plenary) was not the plenary where we would discuss a blacklisting issue. This was the plenary where we examine how far behind Pakistan is on its action plan… I must say they are far behind,” he said.

On June 23, Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa claimed that the country is doing its best and utilising all available sources to eliminate terrorism from its soil, adding that Islamabad has been moving towards attaining sustainable peace and stability.

“We are doing our best, utilising all available sources to wipe out the enemies of peace and prosperity but it is fact that peace and stability in South Asia was dependent on the resolution of conflicts and disputes in the region”, the Nation quoted Bajwa as he was speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

Pakistan is currently on the “grey list” of countries that have been inadequate in curbing money laundering and terror financing. The country has already missed two prior deadlines — in January and May 2019 — to complete their action plan.