Pakistan one point shy of meeting FATF conditions

FATF’s ICRG prepares preliminary report on progress made by Islamabad


Our Correspondent June 16, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

The Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) has prepared a preliminary report on the progress made by Pakistan on the implementation of 27-point action plan and will present it in the plenary meeting being held from June 21 to 25.

According to sources in the Ministry of Finance, Pakistan's progress was reviewed at a virtual meeting of the ICRG by international observers on Tuesday. The group includes China, USA, UK, France and India.

According to the sources, Pakistan has implemented 26 of the 27-point FATF Action Plan.

They said, “There is partial progress on the point of conviction. Relevant laws have been amended in this regard. Therefore, it is hoped that there will be good news for Pakistan at the FATF's Plenary Session starting from June 21.”

However, sources said that in view of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Pakistan is likely to remain on the grey list as it would require two to three more months to implement the remaining one point. “But in terms of performance, Pakistan is very optimistic that it will get good news from the FATF.”

Sources said that the situation is likely to change further by September when the US withdraws its troops from Afghanistan and due to Pakistan's best strategy, the influence of FATF is expected to be diminished.
Until this last meeting, Pakistan had implemented 24 points.

The Paris-based FATF had placed Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018, telling Islamabad to implement a 27-point action plan to curb money laundering and terror financing by the end of 2019. However, the deadline was extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In February, the FATF gave fourth extension to Pakistan to fully implement a 27-point action plan and "strongly urged" it to meet the remaining three conditions about terror financing investigations and the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Against the government’s hopes of exiting the grey list, the FATF plenary found the country’s progress on three out of remaining six points less than satisfactory. Pakistan would remain on the grey list till June 2021, a statement issued by the FATF from Paris said.

“The FATF takes 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,” according to the FATF.

It added that as all action plan deadlines had expired, the FATF strongly urged Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan before June 2021.

It was the fourth extension that Pakistan has managed to secure due to significant progress that it made during the last almost one and half years.

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