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Web Desk
February 25, 2021

Still in grey list: Pakistan given till June to implement last 3 items of action plan

Web Desk
Thu, Feb 25, 2021
FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer. — Still from video courtesy FATF

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced on Thursday that Pakistan will remain on its "grey list" till June, when the next plenary meeting will take place.

FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer, while making the announcement at the end of a four-day plenary meeting, said that the global financial watchdog has found Pakistan has completed 24 of 27 points pertaining to terror financing.

Pleyer said while considerable progress has been made, some "serious deficiencies" remain and so Pakistan will continue to remain "under increased monitoring".

"Out of the 27 conditions, three still need to be addressed," he said. "I recognise Pakistan's efforts, and out of the six tasks that it had to complete, three had been [done] in an outstanding manner, but it substantially needs to work on the remaining three, particularly in terms of terror financing."

Pleyer stressed that Pakistan must continue to work on the items that it has committed to and make sure that it meets all the requirements, adding that FATF will once again review Pakistan's efforts in June 2021.

Replying to a question related to terrorists' prosecution in Pakistan, he said that the body is "not an investigative organisation," and that it "does not look at single incidents but takes a look at the entire framework (to decide a country's status)".

"It's not a time to put it on the blacklist," he said.

"The deadline for Pakistan [to meet the 27 conditions to get off the grey list] had expired, that is why the body had urged Pakistani authorities to ramp up their efforts in dealing with the items," Pleyer added.

Regarding India, he said that the country has been subjected to the "same rules as others," adding that the watchdog would take a look at India when the time comes.

Pleyer added that FATF continues to monitoring financial crimes and terror financing which have become more complicated due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The decision comes after a four-day virtual meeting of the FATF that began on February 22, during which steps taken by Pakistan against terror financing were reviewed.

Responding to the development, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar said that Pakistan had completed nearly 90% of the FATF's action plan.

The minister said that the FATF had acknowledged Pakistan's high-level political commitment since 2018 that led to significant progress.

"It was also noted by FATF member countries that Pakistan is subject to perhaps the most challenging and comprehensive action plan ever given to any country," he said.

The minister went on to state that Pakistan is "subject to dual evaluation processes of FATF with differing time lines".

"Pakistan remains committed to complying with both FATF evaluation processes and I would like to commend the hard work done by dedicated teams in multiple government departments at federal and provincial tiers," he said.

The industries minister said that he will hold a media briefing on Friday at 11:30am to discuss the matter in greater detail.