NEW DELHI: In a setback to Pakistan, the country received another extension on the “Grey List” during the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary session on Wednesday. Islamabad is yet to complete 13 out of 27 items of its FATF Action Plan.
According to informed sources, Pakistan’s progress on its Action Plan would be evaluated in the next FATF plenary meeting to be held in October 2020.
“In the plenary meeting held yesterday, Pakistan’s progress on its Action Plan was not considered due to situation arising out of Covid-19, several jurisdictions including Pakistan had already been given an additional four months’ time in April 2020 by the FATF,” the officials said.
Pakistan is likely to remain in the Grey List till February 2021 even if it completes all its action plan items by October 2020 as an on-site visit by FATF team would have to be held to confirm completion of the plan, the sources said.
According to informed sources, “Pak’s progress on its Action Plan would now be evaluated in the next FATF plenary meeting to be held in October 2020. At least till then, Pak will continue to be on the Grey List. And even thereafter till February 2021 even if it completes all its action plan items by October 2020 as an on-site visit by FATF team would have to be held to confirm completion of Action Plan before it could get out of the Grey List.”
On a separate note, it looks unlikely that Pakistan would be able to complete the rest of the 13 action items by October. So, it is expected to be on the Grey List for a long time.
FATF, in 2018, had placed Pakistan on the grey list and it continues to be in the list since then as it has failed to comply with the tasks given by the FATF to stop terror financing.
FATF decision comes on the day when US’ ‘The Country Reports on Terrorism 2019’ stated that Pakistan continues to serve as “a safe haven” for certain regionally-focused terrorist groups, including the Afghan Taliban and affiliated HQN, LeT, JeM and their affiliated front organisations, that particularly target Afghanistan as well as the Indian subcontinent.