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Pakistan made commitment for combating terrorism financing: US State dept

01 July, 2018

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WASHINGTON: Pakistan has made a high-level political commitment to combating terrorism financing, says the US State Department while urging Islamabad to meet its obligations.

On Friday, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) placed Pakistan on a ‘grey list’ of countries that failed to prevent terrorists from collecting funds within their territories.

This week, FATF held its plenary session in Paris where Pakistan presented a 26-point action plan to stamp out terrorism financing.

“We are pleased that Pakistan has made a high-level political commitment to work with FATF to address weaknesses in its counterterrorism financing (CFT) regime,” a State Depart­ment spokesperson told Dawn when asked for comments on the FATF decision.

“We strongly encourage Pakistan to work with FATF and the international community to meet its CFT obligations, including fulfilling its commitments under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 to freeze and prevent the raising and moving of funds belonging to or associated with UN-designated terrorist groups,” the US official added.

The 26-point plan, prepared for Pakistan by FATF’s Inter­national Cooperation Review Group (ICRG), requires Islam­abad to erase all sources of financing to terrorist outfits. The list includes Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and its affiliates, the self-styled militant Islamic State (Daesh), the Haqqani Network, Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda.

FATF, an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, identified Pakistan as “a jurisdiction with strategic AML/CFT (anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism) deficiencies.”

The decision to put Pakistan on the grey list had been taken at the FATF’s last plenary in February; however, it took effect after Pakistan successfully negotiated an action plan for overcoming those deficiencies.

Failure to do so could have placed Pakistan on the FATF blacklist, leading to serious economic sanctions. Pakistan can still be placed on the blacklist if it fails to implement the action plan.

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