New Delhi: In a stern warning, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Friday issued an ultimatum to Pakistan to control or improve its counter-terror financing operations in line with the agreed plan till October or face severe action.
The global watchdog said that it is concerned after Pakistan missed two deadlines, one in January and the other in May.
In a statement, the FATF said, “The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan by October 2019 when the last set of action plan items are set to expire.”
It further read, “Otherwise, the FATF will decide the next step at that time for insufficient progress.”
In June 2018, Pakistan was placed in the ‘Gray’ list and given a 27-point action plan by the Paris-based FATF.
This plan was reviewed at the last plenary in October 2018 and for the second time in February this year, when the country was again put into the ‘Gray’ list after India submitted new information about Pakistan-based terrorist groups.
Turkey was the only country that had opposed the move backed by the US, the UK and India. However, Pakistan’s all-weather ally Beijing abstained.
The FATF continuing Pakistan in the ‘Gray’ list means its downgrading by the IMF, the World Bank, the ADB, the EU and also a reduction in risk rating by the Moody’s, the S&P and the Fitch. This will add to the financial problems of Pakistan, which is seeking aid from all possible international avenues.
The FATF will formally announce the decision of not blacklisting Islamabad in its Plenary scheduled in Paris on October 13-18, the reports said.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Faisal, has, however, refused to comment on the development.
With inputs from Reuters and PTI