India on Saturday urged Pakistan to take all necessary steps to implement the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plan by September, a day after the global watchdog warned Pakistan to "swiftly" complete its action plan to curb terror financing by October or face consequences.
"The FATF has decided to continue to keep Pakistan on its compliance document (i.e. Grey List) for the ICRG monitoring for its failure to complete the action plan items due in January and May 2019," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said today.
The warning was made in a statement issued by the financial watchdog following a plenary meeting in Orlando held from June 16 to 21.
"We expect Pakistan to take all necessary steps to effectively implement the FATF Action Plan fully within the remaining time frame i.e. by September 2019 in accordance with its political commitment to the FATF and take credible, verifiable, irreversible and sustainable measures to address global concerns related to terrorism and terrorist financing emanating from any territory under its control," he added.
Pakistan is currently on the "grey list" of countries that have been inadequate in curbing money laundering and terror financing. The country has already missed two prior deadlines -- in January and May 2019 -- to complete their action plan.
Three FATF member countries, including China, Turkey, and Malaysia, came to the rescue of Pakistan by ensuring that "there is no imminent threat of blacklisting" by FATF. However, if it is blacklisted by the FATF, Pakistan stands the risk of facing global sanctions.
In a statement, the watchdog had outlined, "The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan by October 2019 when the last set of action plan items are set to expire. Otherwise, the FATF will decide the next step at that time for insufficient progress."
India has previously urged the FATF to put Pakistan on a blacklist of countries that fail to meet international standards in stopping terror financing following the listing of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the United Nations.
If Pakistan continues to remain in the "grey list", it would be downgrading the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Asian Development Bank, who have provided bailout packages worth millions of dollars to uplift the country's cash-strapped economy.
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