Pakistan rejected Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's remarks that Financial Action Task Force or FATF can blacklist the Islamic nation anytime for the country's involvement in terror financing on October 7. In a statement, Pakistan accused India of 'politicising' the FATF proceeding for self motives, as per reports
On October 1, during annual day celebrations of the Defence Accounts Department (DAD) of the Ministry of Defence, Singh said, "Our neighbour is a living example of financial mismanagement... Excessive militarisation and focus on wrong policies in the neighborhood has led to a situation where a country could be blacklisted by the international agency, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for terror financing and it's Prime Minister is struggling to arrange even for a plane to attend a global event,"
This development comes a week ahead of a crucial FATF review meeting in Paris between October 13- 18 to decide whether Pakistan should be blacklisted or not. The FATF recently gave a stern message to Pakistan to 'swiftly' complete its action plan to curb terror financing by October or face consequences by getting itself blacklisted, which could pose problems to the country's already stagnant economy.
India has charged Pakistan with failing to take concrete action against Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar, and other UN-designated terrorists. Following the designation as a global terrorist by the UN in May, Azhar has been shifted to a safe house in Islamabad from his residence in Bahawalpur by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), sources said in May.
The Asia Pacific Group (APG) FATF has concluded that Islamabad has not taken sufficient measures to fully implement UNSCR 1267 obligations against 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and other individuals associated with LeT, JuD, FIF, among other terror groups. In August, the Asia Pacific Group of the FATF had put Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List, sources in the Intergovernmental organization.
The category is reserved for the countries having major deficiencies in their Anti Money Laundering and counter financing of terrorism framework and implementation. The country had been under the FATF radar for its apparent complicity towards terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), among others. In addition, terrorists like Hafiz Saeed are regularly seen ranting anti-India rhetoric and collecting the so-called 'donations' in their 'charitable organisations' to fuel unrest in the neighbouring country.
Earlier, the Asia Pacific Group (APG) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Sunday released its report, concluding that the Islamabad has failed to sufficient action against terrorists in the light of UN sanctions. In its latest 228-page report on Pakistan titled, "Mutual Evaluation Report 2019", the APG stated that Pakistan has not taken adequate measures to fully implement UNSCR 1267 obligations against 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and other individuals associated with LeT, JuD, FIF, and other terror groups.
"Pakistan has not taken sufficient measures to fully implement UNSCR 1267 obligations against all listed individuals and entities - especially those associated with Lashkar-eTayyiba (LeT)/Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) as well as the groups'," the report read.
The report by the APG of the FATF has come a week ahead of the annual plenary of the FATF during when the decision will be taken on Pakistan's 'grey list' status. The report will be one of the bases for the evaluation of the country by the FATF. Furthermore, in the report, FAFT has asked Islamabad to take adequate action against the terror-funding of the terrorist groups. With this, the country is facing major threats of being blacklisted by FATF.
Pakistan was placed under a "grey list" by an international money-laundering watchdog in June 2018, following which it was given a 15-month dateline to implement its 27-point action plan. Islamabad's deadline ended in September following which it submitted its report. Now, the FATF is expected to have a final review in its next meeting between 13 and 18 October in Paris.
(with ANI inputs)