NEW DELHI: India has said that it expects Pakistan to implement steps agreed with the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to eliminate funding to terrorist groups operating from its soil.
This follows a strong warning to Pakistan by the FATF which states that the country could be blacklisted unless it fulfils an "action plan" against UN-designated terrorists operating on its soil by October.
“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," foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said.
Pakistan on its part slammed India’s comments as “preposterous and unwarranted."
“If anything, this is yet another evidence of India’s relentless efforts to politicize the deliberations of FATF for its narrow, partisan objectives," a statement from the Pakistan foreign office forwarded by the Pakistan high Commision in New Delhi said.
“We hope the broader FATF membership would take cognizance of this continuing malicious campaign and reject any attempt aimed at politicization of the FATF process by India," it added.
India had pushed for Pakistan being blacklisted at the FATF’s 16-21 June Orlando meet. This follows a series of terrorist attacks in India, including the 14 February Pulwama attack in which 40 Indian security personnel were killed.
A news report in the Dawn newspaper on Thursday said that Pakistan had managed to secure the support of Turkey and two others to avoid being blacklisted by the FATF.
“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," the body said in a statement on Friday. "Otherwise, the FATF will decide the next step at that time for insufficient progress," it said.
The global watchdog has already put Pakistan on its "grey list" of countries with inadequate controls over curbing money laundering and financing of terrorism.
Being blacklisted would mean being bracketed with countries like North Korea with the risk of global sanctions.
China — seen as the all-weather friend of Pakistan — too did not oppose the final language of the warning issued to the country, news reports said.