New Delhi: Pakistan on Friday escaped being blacklisted by global terror watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which, however, indicted it for failing to deliver on most of its 27 targets and not being able to stop terror financing.
It further gave Islamabad a deadline of February 2020 to complete the given objectives or risk being blacklisted by the body.
In a statement, the FATF said, “We strongly urge Pakistan to complete its full action play February 2020, failing which the FATF will take action including urging our members to advise their financial institutions to give special attention to business relations/transactions with Pakistan.
Pakistan was placed by the FATF in its ‘Grey List’ in June 2018 and given a 27-point action plan to complete by October, failing which, it was warned, it would face severe actions. However, as it turned out on Friday, Islamabad escaped being blacklisted for now.
Blocking a blacklist, however, requires the support of only three members, which Pakistan got from its ‘all-weather aide’ China, another close aide Turkey and Malaysia, which recently backed Islamabad’s stand on Jammu and Kashmir at the UN General Assembly session in September.
‘Blacklisting’ by FATF means that a nation will invite immediate economic sanctions, punishment-borrowing will become difficult, non-financial banking institutions will come under financial scrutiny and bailouts and packages by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will become harder to access.
Formed in 1989, the FATF is a global anti-money laundering body which also focuses on money laundering as a means of financing terror activities across the world. Headquartered in the French capital Paris, it puts countries in three categories or lists: White, Black and Grey.