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The Financial Action Task Force is an inter-governmental organization established in 1989 to fight money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the reliability of the international financial system.
The FATF comprises 39 members including two regional organisations, the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council. India is a member of the FATF consultations and its Asia Pacific Group.
The FATF (Financial Action Task Force) on Monday (17.02.2020) said several terrorist groups are being benefitted from funds raised through illegal activities and from supporters worldwide in spite of the international terror financing watchdog tightening the standards on flow of money.
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Pakistan is providing its continuous support to terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen, whose prime target is India, and has advised FATF to take action against Islamabad, informed by India
The week-long Financial Action Task Force plenary is in progress, which is in Paris; the Pakistan’s fate will be decided whether Pakistan will remain in “Grey list” of FATF or will get promoted in the ”Black List” or escape from listing.
❒ FATF on Pakistan
The FATF had said in a statement, without naming Pakistan, that terrorist’s use various methods to gain financial help, including using social media to identify new followers and to beg financial support or other forms of material support.
FATF said, Individuals sympathetic to humanitarian or at risk to violent messaging are often under attack.
Now the FATF has further tightened the conditions and its standards on terrorist financing which has helped for interruption in the access to funds for groups such as ISIL and Al-Qaeda. However, various groups still benefit from funds raised through illegal activity and from supporters worldwide said by the Paris headquartered FATF.
The FATF has claimed that it is monitoring terrorist financing risks and works to help authorities trace funding to strengthen actions.
The FATF is also monitoring unlawful financing via new payment methods, such as cryptocurrencies.
All the members of the FATF is examining the money laundering and terrorist financing risks faced by the countries and also helping to promote global standards to tackle these risks.
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Last week, Hafiz Saeed was sentenced by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan, being the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack and founder of LeT, to 11 years in two terror financing cases.
This decision was taken just four days after the FATF Paris plenary.
Saeed, a UN designated terrorist on whom the US has placed a $10 million reward, was arrested on July 17, 2019 in the terror financing cases. The 70-year-old criminal was kept at the high-security Kot Lakhpat jail in Pakistan.
But in recent information by the Pakistan to FATF revealed that that JeM founder Masood Azhar and his family is “missing”. Another prank played by Pakistan. Pakistan has further said that there were only 16 UN designated terrorists in Pakistan out of which “seven has been already killed”.
Out of the nine who are alive, seven had applied to the UN for exclusion from financial and travel restrictions.
❒ FATF on Pakistan
Pakistan is fighting hard to get 12 votes out of 39 to exit the ”Grey List” and move to ”White List” and to avoid ”Black List”, it needs support of three countries.
As already we are aware that the Pakistan was placed on the ”Grey List” by the FATF in June, 2018 and was given a plan of action to complete it by October, 2019 or face the risk of being placed on the ”Black List” along with Iran and North Korea.
In the last month’s FATF meeting in Beijing, Pakistan was able to get support of Malaysia and Turkey in addition to China.
It was found that in FATF plenary held in October 2019, Pakistan could speak only on five tasks out of the 27 tasks given to it in controlling funding to terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen, responsible for a series of attacks in India.
The FATF was quite firm in its decision and recommended strongly to Pakistan to quickly complete its full action plan by February, 2020.
In the Beijing meeting, Pakistan was provided a list of its action to fulfil with FATF directions.
If Pakistan continues to be in the ”Grey List”, it will be very difficult for the country to get financial aid from the IMF, World Bank, ADB and the European Union, thus further enhancing problems for the nation which is in a unsafe financial situation.