To Avoid Grey Listing For Terror Financing, Pakistan Amends Anti-Terror Law To Ban UN-Listed Groups

Hafiz Saeed (ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)

To steer clear of grey listing by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) - a 37-member international organisation established in 1989 to monitor money laundering and terrorist financing - Pakistan has quietly amended its Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 to include proscribed groups and individuals.

Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain last Friday promulgated an ordinance amending the act, the Dawn has reported.

Pakistan’s move will reportedly end the ambiguity on the status of Mumbai attack mastermind Hafeez Saeed-linked Jamaatud Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation by placing them on the list of proscribed groups, the daily said in its report. The amendment will also lead to the proscription of United Nations listed outfits such as of Al Akhtar Trust and Al Rashid Trust.

The intergovernmental body, at its plenary in Paris between 18 to 23 February, is set to review Pakistan’s compliance with the the FATF recommendations agreed upon by Islamabad last year. The organisation had asked Pakistan to furnish a compliance report on actions taken against Lashkar-e-Taiba and JuD at the Paris meeting.

If it fails to comply, Pakistan could be put on the organisation’s money-laundering and terror-financing ‘grey list’.The United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany have co-nominated Pakistan for grey listing. Pakistan was on the grey list from 2012 to 2015. At the organisation’s Buenos Aires plenary meeting, China was the only country which opposed the FATF’s consensus against Pakistan.

“Pakistan made some progress to implement UNSCR 1267. However, concerns related to UNSCR 1267 remain, specifically that designated individuals and entities of concern continue to receive and disperse funds without controls being applied by the competent authorities,” the organisation had noted in Buenos Aires.

While China is likely to oppose Pakistan’s grey listing, Islamabad would need three supporters in the 37-member organisation to block the nomination.

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