Unable to clamp down on Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Hafiz Saeed, Pak stares at being blacklisted by FATF
New Delhi, Oct 07: Pakistan has clearly not done enough on the terror funding front and it has been panned by the Finance Action Task Force for the same.
The Asia Pacific Group of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided to place Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List as it failed to meet its standards. It also said that the country has not taken enough action to implement sanctions against Lashkar-e-Tayiba chief, Hafiz Saeed.
"Pakistan has not taken sufficient measures to fully implement UNSCR 1267 obligations against all listed individuals and entities - especially those associated with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT)/Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) as well as the groups'leader Hafiz Saeed," the Mutual Evaluation Report of Pakistan adopted during the annual meet in Canberra read.
Following the two day meeting at Canberra, Australia, it was stated that Pakistan had failed in 32 out of the 40 parameters. This is a major decision and a big setback for Pakistan ahead of the FATF's plenary to be held in October.
During the plenary, it would be decided if Pakistan to remain in the grey list or downgraded to the blacklist. If moved to the blacklist, Pakistan would be slapped with harsher financial sanctions.
In June, the joint group of the Asia Pacific Group in its assessment had found that Pakistan's compliance to act against 8 terror groups which include the Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Tayiba has been unsatisfactory. The report urged Pakistan to do more against these groups before the FATF comes up with its final decision.
The report states that stringent action should be taken against groups such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, their financial entities, Haqqani Network, Al-Qaeda, and Da'esh.
In order to move out of the grey list, Pakistan would need at least 15 of the 36 FATF's members' votes. It would also require a minimum of 3 votes to keep itself out of the black list.
In April the FATF had asked Pakistan to implement a new set of constraints in its crackdown against terror funding, including documenting and regulating all gold markets.
In the past few months, Pakistan appears to have taken some action. While India considers that the action is only token, Pakistan is doing all it can to avoid being downgraded to the black list.
One key development in recent times is the UN listing of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Maulana Masood Azhar. The first action by Pakistan was to put his brother Rauf Asghar in charge of operations.
However, with the heat stepping up, Pakistan claimed that Asghar had been placed under arrest.
The FATF, on the other hand, had asked Islamabad to collect data of all gold markets and restrict the sale and purchase of gold items using cash. The watchdog has also demanded that the country ensure restriction on the supply of gold and jewellery to banned outfits and terrorist organisations.
The FATF had urged Pakistan to collect data of all trusts operating across the country as well as their bank accounts on the district level. It has also asked the country to ensure regulation of thousands of registered trust organisations.