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August 17, 2019

Pakistan submits 450-page report to FATF

National

August 17, 2019

ISLAMABAD: After hiring two international consultants for finalising compliance report, Pakistan has submitted 450-page report along with detailed annexure on 27-point action plan given by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) till envisaged deadline that will be scrutinised in face-to-face meeting at Bangkok in second week of next month.

“Yes, we have submitted final report this week to show compliance on 27-point action plan given by FATF for last one year. Their response is expected within this month on which we will be replying ahead of scheduled upcoming face-to-face meeting from September 9 to 13 at Bangkok. The final meeting of FATF is expected to be held in first week of October to take crucial decision either to exclude Pakistan from grey list or keep it into grey list or put the country into blacklist,” top official sources confirmed while talking to The News here on Friday.

When asked about the need of hiring two consultants, the sources said that the international consultants had helped different countries in the past and their input helped Islamabad to prepare and submit comprehensive report to FATF in line with FATF language and terminology. The sources said that it was discretion of the government to accept input of international consultant or reject it in totality.

If this face-to-face found Pakistan compliant on 18-point action plan out of 27 points then Islamabad would be automatically out from the grey list under FATF methodology but the experience of previous reviews demonstrated that FATF also became part of political agenda setting so on technical grounds Islamabad would not be categorised into compliant portion. So, Pakistan will have to wait till the final meeting of FATF review which would be held anytime in October 2019.

Out of total 27-point action plan, there are seven points related to proscribed outfits involved in terror financing. With a lot of coordination of last one year, the ministries, regulators and departments worked hard to comply with the FATF requirements. Now the outcome will be directly linked to situation prevailed in Afghanistan especially on front of ongoing peace talks to strike peaceful settlement of decade long lingering dispute. If US found Pakistan helpful in Afghanistan, Washington would extend its support to come out from grey list at FATF forum.

There are three possibilities on FATF and the desirable is coming out from grey list. Second option will be keeping Pakistan into grey list with new action and in such scenario, the action plan will mainly focus upon taking stern action against banned outfits. Third possible scenario could be falling into blacklist having dire consequences. On technical grounds, Pakistan made progress in last one year despite passing through political transition and placing of new government but different steps were taken by ministries concerned, regulators and provincial governments through improved coordination to show the political will that Pakistan was serious to deliver on FATF fronts.