To Avoid FATF Blacklist, Pak Sanctions 88 Terror Groups

In a bid to avoid a demotion from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list to the blacklist during the upcoming October plenary meeting, Pakistan on Friday imposed sanctions on more than 88 terrorists associated with different terrorist groups, including Daesh, al-Qaida, and Taliban, Pakistan media reported.

According to the details, the government has also seized the bank accounts and properties of the terrorists in the country. They have also been banned from traveling aboard, Ary News reported.

It is pertinent to mention here that the 88 terrorists were included in the terrorists’ list issued by the United Nations a few days back.

In a statement, the Foreign Office had said: “The sanctions are being implemented by Pakistan in compliance with the relevant UNSC resolutions and we hope that other countries will also follow suit.”

Earlier today, Prime Minister Imran Khan had chaired a meeting for reviewing the political, economic situation, and progress of the legislations related to the FATF action plan.

Pakistan is in the grey list since June 2018 and the government had given a final warning in February to complete the remaining action points by June 2020. The FATF extended the June deadline to September due to the spread of coronavirus that disrupted the FATF plenary meetings.

Earlier this month, Pakistan has submitted its initial draft report to the joint group of FATF, showing compliance of the remaining 13 points out of 27 action points pertaining to terror funding, ahead of the plenary meet scheduled for October, The News International reported on Tuesday.

Top official sources said that Pakistan would share its updated version of the progress report to the FATF review group in the first week of September. The first draft was sent to the FATF on August 6.

In July, Pakistan Financial Monitoring Unit director-general Lubna Farooq told the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance on Tuesday that the country is yet to comply with 13 conditions out of the 27-point Action Plan of the FATF including curbing terror financing, enforcement of the laws against the proscribed organizations and improving the legal systems.

The 13 conditions that remain unimplemented are related to curbing terror financing, enforcement of the laws against the proscribed organisations and improving the legal systems, Express Tribune reported.

Pakistan will have to demonstrate the effectiveness of sanctions including remedial actions to curb terrorist financing in the country; it will have to ensure improved effectiveness for terror financing of financial institutions with particular to banned outfits. It is yet to take action against illegal money or Value Transfer Services (MVTS) such as Hundi-Hawala.

Pakistan will have to place sanction regime against cash couriers. Pakistan will have to ensure logical conclusion from ongoing terror financing investigation of law enforcing agencies (LEAs) against banned outfits and proscribed persons. Pakistani authorities will have to ensure international cooperation based investigations and convictions against banned organisations and proscribed persons.

Seizure of properties of banned terror outfits and proscribed persons is another unfinished agenda. The conversion of madrassas to schools and health units into official formations is also needed to be demonstrated. (ANI)

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