Pakistan to be put on ‘Financial Action Task Force’ watchlist for global terror financing

The USA has approached Financial Action Task Force, an anti money laundering monitoring group, to put Pakistan on a global terror financing watchlist, according to a Pakistani official. The US believes Pakistan has been unwilling in its attempts to crack down on terrorist havens within its borders unequivocally. Pakistan had been on the FATF watchlist from 2012-15.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said, “The U.S. has consistently expressed our long-standing concern about ongoing deficiencies in Pakistan’s implementation of its anti-money laundering/counterterrorism finance regime.” She firmly denied that the US was working on behalf of India and added that the concerns include Pakistan’s non-compliance with its commitments under UN resolutions.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly asserted that Pakistan needs to act against the terrorist safe havens within its borders. On the first day of the New Year, he expressed his displeasure with the Pakistani administration of not honoring their part of the deal.

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The President singled out Pakistan last year when he announced his national security strategy. He had said,  “We make massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help.” Only a few days after the tweet on January 1, President Trump’s administration suspended over 2 billion dollars in security assistance to Pakistan.

In response to pressure from the US, Pakistan has been signalling its willingness to take concrete actions against terrorists to secure the inflow of money and escape further stringent action. Recently, it amended its anti-terrorism law to ban terrorist organizations recognized by the United Nations. However, The USA seems unsatisfied with their efforts and is trying to put them on FATF watchlist which is expected to have a negative impact on Pakistan’s economy.

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