In a victory for Indian diplomatic channel, the plenary noted that Pakistan addressed only a few of the 27 tasks given to it in controlling funding to terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and the Hizbul Mujahideen, which are responsible for a series of attacks in India. India has been maintaining that Pakistan extends regular support to terror groups like the LeT, the JeM and the Hizbul Mujahideen, whose prime target is India, and has urged the FATF
to take action against Islamabad.
With Pakistan's continuation in the 'Grey List', it will be difficult for the country to get financial aid from the IMF, the World Bank, the ADB and the European Union, thus further enhancing problems for the nation which is in a precarious economic situation, making Prime Minister Imran Khan's term even more difficult.
If Pakistan fails to comply with the FATF
directive, there is every possibility that the global body may put the country in the 'Black List' along with North Korea and Iran.
Pakistan is believed to have received strong backing from Malaysia but failed to impress western nations due to India's consistent efforts by providing materials and evidence on Pakistan's inaction to check funding to terror groups operating from its soil.
The logo of the FATF (the Financial Action Task Force) is seen during a news conference after a plenary session at the OECD Headquarters in Paris
The FATF meeting, from February 16 to 21, was held a week after an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan sentenced Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack and founder of the LeT, to 11 years in two terror financing cases.
The Pakistani court's judgment came ostensibly to please the FATF and western countries so that the country can exit the 'Grey List'. Saeed, a UN designated terrorist on whom the US has placed a USD 10 million bounty, was arrested on July 17, 2019, in the terror financing cases.
Pakistan has been under the FATF’s scanner since 2018, when it was put on the greylist for terror financing and money laundering risks, after an assessment of its financial system and law enforcement mechanisms. It is theoretically possible that Pakistan is moved out of the greylist. But that would require the votes of at least 15 of the FATF’s 36 voting members.