FATF: FIGHT AGAINST TERROR FUNDING OF PAKISTAN 

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INTRODUCTION


Financial Action Task Force( FATF) is an international, inter- governmental body established in 1989, which monitors the progress of various countries in implementing necessary measures, reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and evolve counter- measures. It also promotes the adoption and implementation of appropriate measures globally. FATF has scheduled its plenary meeting in Paris early next week. The three day FATF conference which states on 17 February 2018, in Paris will take significant decisions concerning the “grey list”.

GREY LIST


The countries who do not conform to the laid out requirements and regulations of FATF, and are confirmed to be clandestinely assisting world terrorist groups, financially and morally are enlisted which is called – ‘Grey List’. The grey list has countries FATF regards as having inadequate provisions in place to combat money laundering and terror funding. These nations are subject to the FATF’s monitoring and black- listing process. The black List includes either countries which have ‘strategic deficiencies’ with respect to these provisions viz; Bosnia, Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad, Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu, Yemen etc. or “ high-risk and non- cooperative jurisdictions” such as North Korea and Iran.

PAKISTAN & GREY LIST


The Paris meet of FATF will review technical compliance to the regulations and recommendations of FATF, earlier agreed upon by Pakistan. It’s a matter of grave concern that Pakistan has fallen short of the expectations of FATF, by not promulgating legislation to stop money laundering and terrorist funding. It has also not taken action against “ proscribed groups” under UN Security Council Resolution 1267, such as the ‘ Jamaat- ud-Dawa, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Falah- e- insaniat Foundation, which continue to operate freely and raise funds openly within Pakistan to sponsor jihadi movement world over. Pakistan, which had earlier been on the FATF grey list from 2012 to 2015, has now been co-nominated for grey- listing by the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany in the 37- member grouping. This move follows a flawed compliance report submitted by Islamabad on the assurances and promises made after the last FATF conference in Buenos Aires after India and US raised the issue of terror financing by Pakistan.


It is worth noting that China was the only member country which opposed the FATF’s consensus against Pakistan at the Buenos Aires plenary meeting. Beijing is expected to oppose Pakistan’s nomination to the ‘ grey list’ even at Paris, but FATF rules require at least three full member countries to block a nomination. It may be a possibility that China may influence two more friendly countries to tow its line, to block such a move by FATF against Pakistan.

The previous FATF meeting at Buenos Aires noted-“ Pakistan made some progress to implement UNSCR 1267. However, concern related to these provisions remain, specifically that designated individuals and entities of concern continue to receive and disperse funds without controls being applied by the competent authorities.” Significantly , India, which is a full member of FATF, is not among the countries which have proposed this resolution to nominate Pakistan again to the grey list. This time United States Treasury Department is leading the delegation of countries initiating this move, which reflects the Trump administration’s hardening position on Pakistan in recent months. Pakistan also had been strongly lobbying to garner more support from FATF members like Russia, Gulf Coordination Council and Turkey at Paris meet. In April, Pakistan is due for a full scale extensive review or Mutual Evaluation Report( MER) of its financial system by the FATF financial experts. The extensive process of review will take more than 18 months followed by 12 months of analysis. After this tedious analysis process FATF will recommend a firm action plan to Islamabad to curb terrorist funding.

CONCLUSION


Though Pakistan, succumbing to United Nations Security Council’s pressure, has finally decided to ban the known terrorist organisations viz; LeT, al-Qaeda and Taliban, its sincerity is suspicious. It’s evident, this move is aimed at gaining credibility at the impending FATF meet at Paris. In a hurry Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain signed an Ordinance amending a section of the Anti- Terrorism Act( ATA) enabling the authorities to take action against the UNSC – proscribed individuals like ‘Hafiz Saeed’ and their terror outfits like sealing their offices and freezing their Bank accounts. Whatever happens at FATF Paris Meet, India stands to gain.

JAI HIND

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