Tuesday August 16, 2022

Pakistan to stay on FATF grey list for another four months

March 05, 2022
Pakistan to stay on FATF grey list for another four months

ISLAMABAD: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has kept Pakistan on the grey list for another extended period and asked Islamabad to comply with the deficiencies remaining from two respective action plans to come out of the increased monitoring list.

Now Pakistan has been found compliant on 26 points out of 27 action plans and in the second list of demands, out of six action plans, Islamabad was compliant on five points. So Pakistan will have to comply on each one of two different action plans to qualify for the on-site inspection that will pave the way for exclusion from the grey list. "Now Islamabad will have to move swiftly towards investigation and prosecution of senior leaders designated under UN resolutions," top official sources confirmed while talking to The News here on Friday night.

Pakistan has been kept in the grey list for the next four months and now the country will have to demonstrate its action on the front of investigation and effective prosecution against proscribed outfits in line with the UN Security Council Resolutions of 1267 and 1373.

Pakistani authorities complained that it was unusual for pursing two different action plans simultaneously and Pakistan was an exception on this front. Pakistan’s Foreign Office took the stance that there could be only political reasons for keeping Islamabad on the grey list despite its commitment for making progress on all technical grounds since 2018.

The FATF plenary continued its meeting from February 28 to March 4 in Paris and on the conclusion its statement on Pakistan 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 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."

It states that Pakistan has completed 26 of the 27 action items in its 2018 action plan. The FATF encourages Pakistan to continue to make progress to address, as soon as possible, the one remaining item by continuing to demonstrate that TF investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN designated terrorist groups.

In response to additional deficiencies later identified in Pakistan’s 2019 APG Mutual Evaluation Report (MER), in June 2021, Pakistan provided further high-level commitment to address these strategic deficiencies pursuant to a new action plan that primarily focuses on combating money laundering.

"Since June 2021, Pakistan has taken swift steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime and completed 6 of the 7 action items ahead of any relevant deadlines expiring, including by demonstrating that it is enhancing the impact of sanctions by nominating individuals and entities for UN designation and restraining and confiscating proceeds of crime in line with Pakistan's risk profile," it added.

Pakistan should continue to work to address the one remaining item in its 2021 action plan by demonstrating a positive and sustained trend of pursuing complex ML investigations and prosecutions, the statement concluded.