New Delhi: Dashing India’s hopes, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to keep Pakistan in the ‘grey list’ for now, despite New Delhi’s push to blacklist the neighbour over terror funding.
The decision to keep Pakistan in the ‘grey list’ was taken at the end of week-long meetings by the FATF in Paris on Friday. In the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, India had made a strong case against Pakistan’s non-compliance in curbing terror funding.
Pakistan is already in the grey list and has time till October to avoid being blacklisted, technically referred to as countries under ‘high-risk and other monitored jurisdiction.’ Iran and North Korea are currently blacklisted.
India had underlined Pakistan’s complicity in the Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed. Jaish-e-Mohammad, a proscribed terror outfit that has claimed responsibility for the terror attack, operates out of Pakistan. India is believed to have shared details of the same, stressing how Pakistan has been unable to curb the activities or choke its funding.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989. In 2001, the FATF expanded its mandate to incorporate efforts to combat terror financing in addition to money laundering.
In June 2018, Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and the Asia Pacific Group to address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies. To avoid being blacklisted in October this year, it had committed that “law enforcement agencies are identifying and investigating the widest range of terror funding activities and that terror funding investigations and prosecutions target designated persons and entities, and persons and entities acting on behalf of or at the direction of the designated persons or entities.”
India had informed the FATF that Pakistan is falling short of its commitments drastically as the proscribed terror outfits and individuals continue to act from its territory and bleed India.
When Pakistan was put under the grey list last year, its all-weather friend China and Saudi Arabia, which has an observer status at the FATF, refused to shield it. India is hoping that it can ultimately build enough pressure to push for Pakistan’s blacklisting later this year. The blacklisting will prevent institutions like IMF from financially supporting Pakistan that it can ill-afford at this time.