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February 26, 2021

Will have to address three remaining points till June: FATF keeps Pakistan in grey list

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February 26, 2021


ISLAMABAD: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Thursday kept Pakistan on the grey list for another extended period till June 2021 and asked for complying with the remaining three outstanding points of total 27 action plans.

The FATF asks Islamabad to address three remaining deficiencies related to terror-financing and effective implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions 1267 and 1373 against all designated terrorists.

“Pakistan will remain on the grey list as some deficiencies still exist as out of 27 action plans, three still need to be addressed. I urge Pakistan to fully implement the action plan. When Pakistan completes its whole action, our onsite visit will verify sustainability and then FATF members will decide about Pakistan in the next plenary meeting in June 2021” the FATF’s President Dr Marcus Pleyer said while addressing an online news briefing from headquarters based in Paris on Thursday.

The FATF authorities provided opportunity to many Indian journalists to ask questions but many Pakistani journalists could not get a chance despite raising hands in virtually addressed news briefing from FATF’s headquarters.

The FATF gauged Pakistan’s progress and stated that since June 2018, when Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its AML/CFT (Anti-Money Laundering/ Combating the Financing of Terrorism) regime and to address its strategic counter terrorist financing-related deficiencies, Pakistan’s continued political commitment has led to significant progress across a comprehensive CFT action plan by demonstrating that aw enforcement agencies are identifying and investigating the widest range of TF [terror financing] activity, demonstrating enforcement against TFS (terror financing sanctions) violations, and working to prevent the raising and moving of funds including by controlling facilities and services owned or controlled by designated persons and entities.

“Pakistan should continue to work on implementing the three remaining items in its action plan to address its strategically important deficiencies, namely by: (1) demonstrating that TF investigations and prosecutions target persons and entities acting on behalf or at the direction of the designated persons or entities; (2) demonstrating that TF prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions; and (3) demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists, specifically those acting for or on their behalf,” the FATF demanded.

The FATF also took note of the significant progress made on the entire action plan. To date, Pakistan has made progress across all action plan items and has now largely addressed 24 of the 27 action items.

“As all action plan deadlines have expired, the FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan before June 2021,” it further stated. According to statement issued by Pakistan’s Ministry of Finance on FATF’s decision for keeping Islamabad on grey list for another extended period till June 2021 by stating that the FATF has appreciated Pakistan for the significant progress made on the entire action plan.

The Plenary meetings of FATF were held virtually from 22-25 February 2021, where its members discussed a range of topics relating to Pakistan’s progress.

Pakistan’s delegation in the FATF Plenary was led by Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Chairman FATF Coordination Committee/ Federal Minister for Industries and Production and attended by senior officers from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nacta, FMU, National FATF Secretariat and other key stakeholders.

In its Plenary meeting held on 25th of February, the FATF stated that “To date, Pakistan has made progress across all action plan items and has now largely addressed 24 of the 27 action items.” The FATF has also acknowledged the continued high-level political commitment of Pakistan to combat terrorist financing which, according to FATF statement, has led to significant progress across a comprehensive countering financing of terrorism plan.

Pakistan has undertaken enormous work to strengthen its AML/CFT regime and address the strategic counter-terrorist financing related deficiencies. In addition to the acknowledgement by FATF in its plenary statement that Pakistan has made significant progress on the entire action plan by addressing 24 out of the 27 items in the action plan, Pakistan has also made notable progress in the remaining 3 action items which also stand partially addressed. As of now, all the 10 action items pertaining to the financial sector and border controls have been addressed. In relation to Terrorism Financing (TF) investigations and prosecutions, 6 of the 8 action items have been addressed, whereas for targeted financial sanctions, 8 of the 9 action items also stand addressed. The progress on the remaining three action items is well underway with significant progress made so far.

The Ministry of Finance reaffirmed its commitment to continue strengthening the AML/ CFT regime in line with the global standards.