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Pakistan does not meet 6 key FATF mandates; no action against Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed

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NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s failure to meet six key FATF obligations, including action against two of India’s most wanted terrorists, Maulana Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed, and the sudden disappearance of more than 4,000 terrorists from its official list will likely lead to its continuation. on the global watchdog’s ‘gray list’ on money laundering and terrorist financing, officials said Sunday.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) virtual plenary, to be held October 21-23, will take the final call on Pakistan’s continuation on its gray list after a comprehensive review of Islamabad’s performance in complying with the global commitments and standards in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
The FATF had given Pakistan a total of 27 action plan obligations to fully verify terrorist financing, of which it has cleared 21 so far, but has failed on some of the key tasks, said an official familiar with the events.
The mandates that Pakistan has failed include actions against all UN designated terrorists such as the head of Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) Azhar, the founder of Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT), Seed and the team’s operational commander, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
Furthermore, the FATF has strongly noted the fact that there was a sudden disappearance of the names of more than 4,000 terrorists from its original list of 7,600 under Annex IV of its Antiterrorism Act.
“Under these circumstances, Pakistan will almost certainly continue to be on the FATF gray list,” the official said.
Furthermore, the four nominated countries, the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany, are not satisfied with Islamabad’s commitment to crack down on terrorist groups operating from its soil.
Azhar, Saeed and Lakhvi are the most wanted terrorists in India for their involvement in numerous terrorist acts, including the Mumbai terrorist attacks on 11/26 and the CRPF bus bombing at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir last year.
With Pakistan remaining on the gray list, it is increasingly difficult for Islamabad to obtain financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union, further exacerbating the problems of the neighboring country. who is in a precarious financial situation.
The FATF will also judge whether the competent authorities in Pakistan were cooperating and taking steps to identify and take enforcement action against illegal money or value transfer services and whether they had implemented cross-border currency controls and bearer negotiable instruments in all ports of entry, including the application of effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions.
The country’s most prominent areas of action also include the effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions (backed by a comprehensive legal obligation) against the 1,267 and 1,373 designated terrorists and those acting on their behalf or on their behalf, including prevention of collection and movement of funds, identification and freezing of assets. (movable and immovable) and prohibiting access to funds and financial services, said another official.
The FATF plenary was scheduled for June, but Pakistan had an unexpected respite after the global watchdog against financial crime temporarily postponed all mutual evaluations and follow-up deadlines in the wake of the serious health risk due to the pandemic. of Covid-19.
The watchdog also put a general pause in the review process, thus giving Pakistan an additional four months to comply with the requirements.
Pakistan needed 12 votes out of 39 to get off the gray list and go on the white list. To avoid the blacklist, you need the support of three countries. China, Turkey and Malaysia are his constant supporters.
Currently, North Korea and Iran are on the FATF blacklist.
Pakistan was included on the gray list by the FATF in June 2018 and was given an action plan to be completed in October 2019. Since then, the country has continued on that list due to its failure to comply with the FATF mandates.
The FATF is an intergovernmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and other threats related to the integrity of the international financial system.
The FATF currently has 39 members, including two regional organizations: the European Commission and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
India is a member of the FATF consultations and its Asia Pacific Group.

Times of India

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