Financial Action Task Force (FATF): A slap on the face of India

FATF, in its virtual meeting from 18 to 23 October, analyzed the report presented by Pakistan on the implementations on the 27 points set by the FATF. The president of FATF Dr. Marcus Pleyer said that although Pakistan has acted on 21 points and started working on the rest six points, it would continue to remain on the grey list. The decision on whether its name should be removed from the grey list would be taken in the next meeting in February 2021.  

Pakistan has taken many steps to meet the conditions set by FATF. Islamabad passed the UN Security Council amendment bill and terrorism amendment bill, despite the strong opposition from the opposition parties. According to the new laws, punishment for money laundering has been increased from 5 to 10 years of imprisonment while property of the guilty would be confiscated. However, Pakistan needs to implement the other six points to come out of the grey list. It needs to act on terror finance and take action against 1373 persons and groups that are involved in terror financing. After the recent laws passed in the National Assembly, only 50 lakh rupees can be sent to foreign countries without permission. Earlier, there was no such restriction. According to the new law, it will be illegal to put money in an account in foreign currency. Also, carrying cash in excess of 10,000 dollars is banned.  

It is a welcome step that despite the Coronavirus pandemic, Pakistan could implement 21 points. By doing so, it avoided the possibility of being put on the blacklist. Despite taking the steps, however, it was decided that Pakistan would continue to remain on the grey list. The President said that there was no discrimination against Pakistan. However, India and its allies tried hard to keep up the pressure on Pakistan through FATF. New Delhi wanted Pakistan to be put on the blacklist and be sanctioned. India failed in its attempts. For that, the Army Chief and all other institutions need to be congratulated.  

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