WASHINGTON: The United States on Tuesday stated that Pakistan has made “significant progress” on its first action plan laid down by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) by “largely addressing” 26 out of the 27 action items, urging Islamabad to speed up work on the second action plan, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
However, the global terrorism watchdog has urged Islamabad to expedite the completion of the remaining item by establishing that terror financing, investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of United Nations-designated terror groups.
“We do recognise and we support Pakistan’s continued efforts to satisfy those (first action plan) obligations. Pakistan has made significant progress on its first action plan with 26 of 27 action items largely addressed,” US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.
The FATF, which monitors terror financing and money laundering, had asked Pakistan to address its strategically important deficiencies.
The global watchdog had, in its virtual plenary meeting last month, retained Pakistan in the ‘grey list’ for failing to comply with the laid down action plan.
“We encourage Pakistan to continue working with the FATF and the international community to swiftly complete the remaining action item by demonstrating that terrorism financing, investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated groups,” Price further said.
The watchdog had also asked Islamabad to probe and prosecute UN-designated terrorists based out of the country.
Price stated the United States “encourages Pakistan” to swiftly work on the second action plan as well.
Pakistan was pushed into the ‘grey list’ in June 2018 and given an action plan to complete by October 2019. However, the failure to comply with the FATF mandates resulted in the country continuing to stay on the list.
Remaining in the ‘grey list’ has made it increasingly difficult for Pakistan to get financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the European Union, especially at a time when it’s struggling with a financial crisis.
Thanks to China, Turkey and Malaysia, Pakistan has managed to escape the ‘black list’, for which a country needs the support of three nations.