NEW DELHI: The FATF plenary which started on Monday is examining Pakistan’s compliance — or lack thereof — with the remaining six items in its 27-point action plan meant to check terror-financing.
While Pakistan is expected to remain on the grey list, it’s hoping that the Parisbased terror watchdog will allow an onsite evaluation which it can use to convince the member-states that it has done enough to get its name struck off the grey or ‘increased monitoring’ list.
One of the six terror-financing issues Pakistan was yet to address when FATF met in October last year related to lack of action against UNSC-proscribed terrorists like Masood Azhar. India believes Pakistan has continued to provide safe havens to these terrorists.
FATF had retained Pakistan in the grey list in October, despite acknowledging “significant progress” made by Islamabad in addressing 21 other points. It had asked Pakistan to address its “strategic deficiencies” by demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all UN 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf.
It’s unlikely that FATF will downgrade Pakistan to the blacklist as it enjoys the support of China, Malaysia and Turkey. However, many other member-states are still trying to ascertain if Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies are identifying and probing terror-financing activities.
“Background discussions with key officials and foreign diplomats suggest that the jury is divided — with the authorities claiming sufficient progress to be confident of a positive outcome but some diplomats suggesting that even in the best-case scenario Pakistan would remain in the increased monitoring list until June,” reported Dawn on Monday quoting officials.
Pakistan media had also reported last week that some European countries, including France, had recommended to the FATF that Pakistan remain on the grey list as not all points had been fully addressed by Islamabad.