Pak failed at the FATF plenary by passing only five of the 27 parameters in its outcome report. Pakistan has been under the 'Enhanced Monitoring Process' (Grey list) since June 2018. In a clear warning of blacklisting, FATF President said, "Pak needs to do more and it needs to do it faster". Pakistan failed miserably at the FATF plenary by passing only five of the 27 parameters in its outcome report

Paris: In a clear warning of blacklisting, Pakistan that has been under the 'Enhanced Monitoring Process' (Grey list) since June 2018, FATF President Xiangmin Liu at the concluding press briefing said, "Pakistan needs to do more and it needs to do it faster. The FATF is giving a very clear warning that if by February 2020 the country has not made significant progress, we would consider further actions that potentially includes placing the country on the public statement, also referred to as the blacklist."

Giving lectures has been considered a virtue in the fight against terrorism. India Today has learned that of the five parameters that Pakistan managed to pass, one was, lectures to bankers regularly and the other was placing terrorist names on the website.

On all actionable parameters, Pakistan failed at very poor rate of convictions in TF (Terrorist Financing) cases, very low level of TF cases registered against UN-designated entities (UNDEs), incomplete seizure of terrorist properties, inadequate understanding of transnational risk especially of those UNDEs based in Pakistan but operating outside, no action at all regarding registration of TF cases against its own UNSR 1373 list ie Schedule 4, of 7600 terrorists, zero properties seized.

No sustainable action against the top leadership of UNDEs, no action on those who raised TF funds over the last 20 years to build the 1000 properties seized.

Sources say, Pakistan only needed the support of three countries to stay off the blacklist which they got from Malaysia, Turkey, and China.

The focus of countries such as France, the US, UK, and others was to ensure that the outcome statement is a strongly worded one. In fact, an official privy to the proceedings pointed out that there is hardly any difference in language between grey listed Pakistan put on notice and Iran which is already on the blacklist.

"...Should significant and sustainable progress not be made across the full range of its action plan by the next Plenary, the FATF will take action, which could include the FATF calling on its members and urging all jurisdictions to advise their financial institutions to give special attention to business relations and transactions with Pakistan, read the outcome statement of the FATF on Pakistan."

India is represented by its top Counter-Terrorist Financing (CFT) experts from MHA and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) specialists from Ministry of Finance at the FATF, who have worked assiduously since June 2018 to provide FATF with credible resources and evidence on Pakistan and have worked with the international financial watchdog for years on other aspects of CFT/AML.

The past week they worked tirelessly with India’s strategic partners to hold Pakistan accountable.

Terming it a huge political and diplomatic victory, French diplomatic sources told India Today, "We are very happy. Negotiations were hard. We worked very closely with the European partners and the US to obtain a strongly worded statement. The wording of the statement was critical. Pakistan has been warned in the strongest manner possible leading up to blacklisting in February 2020 plenary if they do not comply."

These nations also tried to find consensus in getting the President to move a motion to blacklist Pakistan. Since there was no consensus, they wanted a stern warning issued leading up to blacklisting if they don’t comply by February.

"Our strategy was to first get an objective assessment of what Pakistan has done and what Pakistan has not done. We want the situation to change and want Pakistan to change and therefore there is a timeline in place for them to show credible action," said the French diplomat.

To a question on global politics trumping real cinema for terrorism and the future of Pakistan, Michael Kugelman of the Wilson Centre said, "Pakistan avoided the blacklist with a little bit of help from its friends... Islamabad is still in a tough spot because it runs the risk of being blacklisted in February. Given the deep tensions in India-Pakistan relations, Islamabad has little incentive to cut off ties with the militant proxies that can be used to push back against India. But it is those very ties that concern FATF, and that could prompt it to blacklist Islamabad down the road."

While the next plenary is in February 2020, Pakistan would be up for a review by the Asia-Pacific Joint Group (APJG) of the FATF as early as in January of 2020 when they meet in Bangkok, Thailand.

The summary of the APJG meeting held in Bangkok, Sept 2019, said that of the 27 Action Plan items, Pakistan only 6 cleared with 21 items pending. The final outcome of the FATF says five, one less than before.