The Asia Pacific Group (AGP) in its third Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) has found that of the 40 Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations, the country had been declared compliant or largely compliant on 35 of them, the finance ministry said on Friday.
In a statement, the ministry said that the regional body of the FATF in its follow-up report published on Thursday had stated that Pakistan was now in the top tier of countries that had achieved a rating of compliant/ largely compliant.
“Pakistan has implemented four more important recommendations and it was now one of the top countries swiftly implementing the FATF plan,” it added.
Furthermore, the AGP report noted that Pakistan had also achieved the rating of largely compliant/ compliant in all major six recommendations of the FATF which includes R.3 (money laundering offence), R.5 (terrorist financing offence), R.6 (targeted financial sanctions related to terrorism & terrorist financing), R.10 (customer due diligence), R.11 (record keeping) and R.20 (reporting of suspicious transactions).
The statement read that Pakistan had enacted 17 laws with sweeping legal reforms.
In a tweet, Federal Energy Minister Hammad Azhar also announced the news. “Alhamdolilah. Another good news,” he said.
“Out of FATF's 40 requirements, our earlier assessment of 31/40 upgraded to 35/40. Pakistan has now joined a select group of countries with a high level of compliance.”
The country now finds itself well-positioned in technical compliance in comparison to many of the countries. Compared to other G20 countries, Pakistan now stands at 4th after Italy (38), Saudi Arabia (38), and UK (38), according to the statement.
The ministry said Pakistan would continue addressing the remaining gaps the report identified in its 2019 report with the commitment and now aims at achieving the remaining five recommendations.
“Pakistan has made good progress in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its MER and has been re-rated to compliant/largely compliant,” the AGP report concluded.
In June this year, the FATF had retained Pakistan on its grey list despite the country meeting 26 of the 27 conditions and handed it over a new six-point action plan, keeping Islamabad exposed to global pressure tactics.
The FATF -- the global body working to combat the financing of terrorism and money laundering -- announced its decision at the conclusion of the watchdog’s five-day virtual plenary meeting under the German presidency of Marcus Pleyer.
However, the FATF noted that Pakistan had completed all but one of the 27 items in the action plan and it had decided to keep it under “increased monitoring”.
“The FATF encourages Pakistan to continue to make progress to address as soon as possible the one remaining CFT (combating the financing of terrorism)-related item by demonstrating that TF (terror financing) investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terrorist groups,” according to the global body.
The remaining action item was the most significant among all in the view of the member countries including the US and India, which have circled Pakistan through the FATF platform.
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