Pakistan given deadline for counter-terror financing compliance

PARIS (Reuters) - Pakistan has until October to improve its counter-terror financing operations in line with an internationally agreed action plan, a global watchdog said on Friday.

The Financial Action Task Force, originally set up 30 years ago to tackle money laundering, said it was concerned that Pakistan had failed to complete the action plan first by a January deadline and then by a May deadline.

“The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan by October 2019,” said a statement from the FATF, which groups countries from the United States to China and bodies such as the European Commission.

“Otherwise, the FATF will decide the next step at that time for insufficient progress,” it added after a meeting in Florida.

In a statement, Pakistan’s Finance Ministry said it was on track. “The government of Pakistan reiterates its commitment to take all necessary measures to ensure completion of the action plan in a timely manner,” it said.

The FATF already has Pakistan on its “grey list” of nations with inadequate controls over curbing money laundering and terrorism financing. But India wants Pakistan blacklisted, which would likely result in sanctions.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas in Paris, Asif Shahzad in Islamabad; Editing by John Irish and Andrew Cawthorne