New Delhi: Pakistan’s has failed to complete 25 out of 27 action points given by the international terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to check funding to terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), putting Islamabad into more precarious financial situation. With the latest development, multilateral lenders like the IMF, the World Bank and the EU may continue downgrading Pakistan.
During the FATF meeting held in US’ Florida on Sunday, people aware of the update noted that Pakistan is in deep trouble. “It has been unable to complete 25 of its 27 action points. It has one last chance, till its 15-month deadline ends in October 2019, when the FATF Plenary will be held,” one of them added.
In a bid to bluff the financial watchdog, Pakistani authorities have shown arrests of LeT, JeM, JuD and FiF cadres. But all were apprehended under its Maintenance of Public Order Act and not under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
The FATF has now asked Pakistan to explain whether there are any terror-funding investigations to unearth the sources and entities that funded these organisations with USD 7 million per annum for the past several years.
Notably, Pakistan was placed in the ‘Gray’ list and given a 27-point action plan by FATF last year. 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.
The FATF continuing Pakistan in the ‘Gray’ list means its downgrading by IMF, World Bank, ADB, EU and also a reduction in risk rating by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch. This will only add to financial woes of Pakistan, which is seeking aid from all possible international avenues.