The anti-terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to keep Pakistan on its 'grey list' even as Islamabad reaffirmed its commitment to stifle terror financing and money laundering.
At the FATF talks in Paris, a delegation led by Pakistani interim minister for finance and planning, Dr Shamshad Akhtar apprised the global watchdog of Islamabad's commitment on cracking down on both active and banned terror outfits. It added that the Pakistani government was working to restrict financial assistance for terrorists, by making existing laws stricter and ensured implementing current regulations smoothly, as per the report.
Akhtar, who earlier reached Paris to attend the six-day FATF meeting from June 24-29, had requested the body to remove Pakistan from the 'grey list', as the FATF was to conduct a review.
In compliance with the FATF's recommendations, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) issued the Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Regulations, 2018 on June 20.
Earlier on June 8, the National Security Committee (NSC) reaffirmed its commitment on cooperating with FATF for achieving "shared objectives".
"The committee reaffirmed the commitment of the country to work with FATF and other international organisations in achieving common goals and shared objectives," a statement issued by the Pakistan Prime Minister Office (PMO) on the NSC meeting had said.
The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system, according to the report.
In February this year, Pakistani authorities confirmed that the country was going back on the "grey list" of the FATF after a span of nearly four years.
Pakistan to choke funding of militant groups to avoid being blacklisted by FATF:
Pakistan submitted a comprehensive 26-point action plan to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to choke the funding of militants groups, including Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led JuD and its affiliates, to avoid being blacklisted by it.
Pakistan has been scrambling in recent months to avoid being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations by the FATF, a measure that officials here fear could hurt its economy, which is already under strain.
A media report quoted by PTI said that Pakistan's plan envisages choking the financing of terrorist groups like Da'esh (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Jamaat-ud Dawa and its affiliates Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), the Haqqani Network and persons affiliated with the Taliban.
The plan requires Pakistani authorities to proactively cooperate with counterpart bilateral agencies to choke financing for terror groups. The agency's sources said that the plan was quite ambitious and added that the country was committed to proving to the world that it was ready to go an extra mile to curb money laundering, despite its reservations that the plan was politically motivated.
Pakistan will have to deliver on the first goal by January next year and complete all the 26 actions by September 2019, the sources said.
While, Pakistan's ambitious plan has kept it off the blacklist, it failed to get the country off the grey list.
(With inputs from agencies)