FATF slams Pakistan over terror funding but doesn't blacklist it
Much to Pakistan's relief, global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force on Friday didn't put the country on the blacklist but condemned the Pulwama attack in strong words. FATF's decision to continue keeping Pakistan in its greylist comes despite hard lobbying from India to downgrade its rating. However, FATF put Pakistan on notice clarifying that if Islamabad fails to take substantial steps, consequences will be obvious.
FATF announced its decision at the end of its week-long meetings in Paris. In a statement, the 38-member watchdog condemned the February 14 attack on CRPF. "Such attacks cannot occur without money and the means to move funds between terrorist supporters," the statement read. The watchdog said Pakistan had to show compliance on five grounds till February, but the country has shown little progress.
"Pakistan does not demonstrate a proper understanding of the terror financing risks posed by JuD, LeT, JeM, and persons affiliated with the Taliban... Pakistan should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies," the FATF said.
Miffed with Pakistan's negligible action in curbing terrorism, FATF has asked it to comply with 27 demands now. If the Imran Khan led country fails to meet the demands by October 2019, it will be blacklisted. Notably, Pakistan was put on FATF's greylist last year and its all-weather ally China and Saudi Arabia refused to shield it. Currently, Iran and North Korea are blacklisted.
Pakistan's presence in the list makes it difficult for it to access International markets, especially at a time when its economy is in shambles. Officials in the country tried to get Pakistan off the list saying steps have been taken. As a last minute gesture, Pakistan also banned Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's outfit Jamat-ud-Dawa and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation.
Rebuking Pakistan aside, FATF's statement doesn't bring much good news for India. After the Pulwama attack, in which dozens of CRPF personnel lost their lives, New Delhi prepared a dossier to corner Pakistan on the world stage. The FATF was reportedly apprised of Pakistan's involvement in the attack and its failure to take action against terror outfits waging war against India.