Global money-laundering watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will keep Pakistan on its terrorism financing “grey list”. But Pakistan is confident that being on FATF’s blacklist is not a possibility now.
FATF had placed Pakistan on its “grey list” of countries with inadequate controls over terrorism financing in 2018. This factor made foreign firms more cautious about investing in Pakistan, said Reuters.
In an online briefing from Paris, FATF President said Pakistan had made “significant progress.” But, there remained “serious deficiencies” in mechanisms to plug money-laundering and terrorism financing, Marcus Pleyer added.
Pleyer said three out of 27 action points still needed work.
Following the announcement, Pakistan said it was committed to complying with the FATF evaluation process.
“It was also noted by FATF member countries that Pakistan is subject to perhaps the most challenging and comprehensive action plan ever given to any country,” Federal minister Hammad Azhar wrote on Twitter.
Azhar leads Pakistan’s effort to implement the FATF roadmap. He said the country was “subject to dual evaluation processes of FATF with differing timelines”.
Being on FATF’s blacklist no longer a possibility: Hammad Azhar
On Friday, Azhar said being blacklisted was no longer a possibility, according to Dawn.
Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad, he said Pakistan achieved its targets. Even though the timelines and the FATF’s action plan were a challenge.
“At the plenary, FATF countries and its secretariat said blacklisting was not an option because the country has achieved significant progress.”
Our second target was to complete the 27-point action plan. “As you have seen, today the FATF itself is saying that we are 90% close to achieving this goal.”
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Pakistan had the option to not do the reports. It’s an option that was exercised by some countries, according to Azhar. “But we took advantage of that time and continued with the reporting. The result of that is in front of you.”
“A lot of work has been done on the three points in which we are partially complaint. In my eyes, we are close to being largely compliant in these areas.”
Azhar maintained that the remaining three points on the FATF’s action plan will be completed soon.
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