PARIS / PANAMA CITY   -    Pakistan has until October to improve its counter-terror financing operations in line with an internationally agreed action plan or face actions against it, a global watchdog said on Friday.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said it was concerned that Pakistan had failed to complete the action plan first by a January deadline and then again by a May deadline.

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

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

Support of at least three member countries of FATF is essential to avoid being placed on the blacklist. “The danger is still not over. This is certainly a positive development that there is no imminent threat of blacklisting [by the FATF] due to crucial support from Turkey, China and Malaysia,” Turkey’s Anadolu Agency quoted a Pakistan Foreign Ministry official as saying.

Pakistan, placed on the “grey list” in June 2018, was given a 27-point action plan by the Paris-based organisation that has 36 member countries.

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Meanwhile, Pakistan reiterated its commitment to implement the FATF action plan. According to the Ministry of Finance, the FATF reviewed progress made by Pakistan towards the implementation of the action plan.

“It acknowledged the steps taken by Pakistan to improve its Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism regime and highlighted the need for further actions for implementing the action plan,” it said in a statement.

“The Government of Pakistan reiterates its commitment to take all necessary measures to ensure completion of the action plan in a timely manner.”The FATF will undertake the next review of Pakistan’s progress in October 2019.