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August 22, 2019

Mutual Evaluation Report: APG may announce its finding on Pak performance this week

Top Story

August 22, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Asia Pacific Group, a regional affiliate of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), has undertaken Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) on Pakistan’s performance on basis of period from February to October 2018 when Islamabad was not able to show much progress.

The review of performance of MER was not up to the mark mainly because the country was passing through political transition where three governments ruled over the country including the last PML-N-led regime at twilight of its five-year term, then caretaker setup run government for transition months and finally PTI took over reins of power after winning July 2018 elections.

Although, the APG has adopted Pakistan’s third Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) but it is all set to come up with its findings anytime soon. Probably the APG will announce it within next few days.

“The APG can announce its outcome anytime in coming days,” said one top official while talking to The News here on Wednesday. A top official when contacted on Wednesday night, said had this review taken place for the current year things would have been different. He added that the results were based on position in last October where we all know we were not standing in a good position.

Everyone knew that Pakistan made a good progress on APG’s Mutual Evaluation and FATF review simultaneously in last one year especially in the aftermath of October 2018 but ironically the APG selected the period up to Oct 2018 to review the country’s progress.

The reviewing progress on the basis of action taken till October 2018 clearly indicates that intentionally the period of review was selected when the performance was not up to the mark.

The APG’s MER and FATF review are two separate fronts, which are being run simultaneously. Pakistan has raised complaints that it was unfair to undertake these two different process at one time.

“India is making all out efforts to malign us and they did the same in the APG meeting held at Australia but Pakistani team presented its case in strongest manner to prove that Islamabad was seriously pursuing agenda against money laundering and terror financing,” said the official.

According to official announcement made by Finance Ministry on Wednesday stating that the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), held its 22nd Annual Meeting in Canberra, Australia from 18-23 August 2019. A senior level delegation from Pakistan headed by Dr Reza Baqir, Governor State Bank of Pakistan, attended the meeting. The meeting adopted Pakistan’s third Mutual Evaluation Report (MER).

The MER covers the period February to October 2018 and identifies a number of areas where further actions are required to strengthen the AML/CFT framework.

The report does not cover the areas in which government of Pakistan has made substantial progress since October 2018.

In the discussions, the Pakistan delegation welcomed engagement with the international community in its efforts to countering terrorism and money laundering. The delegation briefed APG members on the steps taken in recent times for improving its AML/CFT framework as well as the actions for ensuring effective implementation of the FATF Action Plan.

The Pakistan delegation also held a number of bilateral meetings with key delegations to brief them on recent progress by Pakistan in implementing the FATF Action Plan.

As background, Pakistan has been a member of the APG since 2000. APG is a regional body of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and requires its members to undergo mutual evaluation on the compliance of its anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework with FATF recommendations.

During the meetings, Pakistan’s Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) also signed an MoU with the China Anti Money Laundering Monitoring and Analysis Center (CAMLAC) on exchange of financial intelligence.