‘US approaches FATF to put Pak on global terrorist financing watch list’

US approaches FATF to put Pak on global terrorist financing watch listWASHINGTON: The US has approached an international group to place Pakistan on global terrorist-financing watch list, accusing Islamabad of not complying with the UN Security Council resolutions relating to terror groups including al-Qaeda and its affiliates, a top State Department official said today.

US President Donald Trump, in his first tweet of 2018, had lashed out at Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists and accused it of “lies and deceit” and of fooling US leaders while sheltering terrorists.

Unveiling his new South Asia policy in August last year, Trump had warned of tougher measures against Pakistan if it failed to cooperate with the US in the fight against terror.

The US has consistently expressed our long-standing concern about ongoing deficiencies in Pakistan s implementation of its anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism finance (AML/CFT) regime, a State Department Spokesperson told PTI amid media reports from Pakistan that the US has approached the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in this regard.

In addition to broader systemic concerns, this also includes Pakistan’s non-compliance with its commitments under UN Security Council Resolution 1267, the official said.

The UN Security Council resolution asks member countries to freeze the assets of, prevent the entry into or transit through their territories by, and prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer of arms and military equipment to any individual or entity associated with al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban as designated by the Committee.

The State Department statement reflected that Pakistan has not been implementing this.

The FATF is scheduled to meet later this month, wherein America’s move is up for discussion.

The State Department, however, refrained from giving any further details.

The February Plenary of the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will be determining appropriate next steps regarding Pakistan, the spokesperson said.

The FATF discussions are confidential and there will be no publicly released information until there is a FATF Plenary decision that Pakistan should be publicly identified. Confidentiality of the FATF internal deliberations and documents are very important and core to the deliberative process, the spokesperson added.

The FATF maintains grey and black lists for identifying countries with weak measures to combat money laundering and terror financing.

The watchdog does not have the powers to impose sanctions on a country found not meeting the required standards.

However, its listing can affect international transactions from the country concerned as those would then become subject to greater scrutiny.

This will increase the cost of doing international transactions and ultimately higher cost of doing business locally.-PTI

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