China becomes Vice President of Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
BEIJING - China has become the vice chair of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body mandated to combat terror financing.
In its plenary meeting in Paris on Friday, the FATF extensively deliberated on ways to combat terror financing and money-laundering but did not put Pakistan on its international terror-financing watch list. It gave Islamabad time till June to prepare an action plan against terror groups operating from Pakistan.
China, Pakistan’s all-weather ally, has repeatedly blocked efforts by India, the US and the UK in the UN to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar a terrorist.
The FATF, in a report on Friday, named nine countries with “strategic deficiencies”. Among the countries identified were Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Tunisia. Pakistan was on FATF’s “grey list” from 2012 to 2015.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was set up in 1989 with the primary goal of setting standards to combat money laundering, but in 2001 its mandate was expanded to include countering terror financing. It can take action such as financial restrictions against any country.
At the FATF plenary meeting, the US and some of its European allies were in favour of placing Pakistan on the list of countries that financially support terrorism.
However, Pakistan has been given time till June to prepare an action plan to take action against terror groups operating from its soil following which the FATF would take a call on whether to name it on its terror-financing watch list.
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has said the FATF will decide in June whether to place Pakistan on the “grey list”. The list comprises countries with strategic deficiencies that pose a risk to the international financial system.