The FATF wants to complete the plan quickly: Pakistan has until June to leave the gray list
ISLAMABAD: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) kept Pakistan on the gray list on Friday until June 2020 for meeting the remaining conditions of its 27-point action plan, especially those concerned with criminalizing and prosecuting the financing network of the terrorism (FT).
“To date, Pakistan has largely addressed 14 of 27 elements of action, with different levels of progress in the rest of the action plan. The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to quickly complete its full action plan by June 2020, “the Paris-based anti-terrorism control agency said in its statement at the conclusion of the plenary meeting in Paris from February 16 to 21.
The prime minister’s advisor, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, publicly thanked the Chinese government for its massive support at the meetings. He said that China and other sister countries supported Pakistan throughout the FATF process in terms of guiding the country to improve its framework.
The FATF plenary granted Pakistan the first extension in October / November 2019 for complying with its conditions until February 2020. At that time, Pakistan met five points out of the total of 27 points. In the second extension, Pakistan received a four-month extension until June 2020 after meeting 14 action points.
Practically, Pakistan must submit its compliance report until April 30, 2020. A face-to-face meeting will be held in May 2020 and the FATF plenary meeting is finally expected to meet at any time in June 2020 to assess the performance of the country under the remaining conditions and decide to place it on the white or undesirable blacklist.
The delegation of Pakistan led by the Minister of Economic Affairs, Hammad Azhar, attended the plenary meeting in Paris. The Pakistani authorities argue that they avoided blacklisting by making apparent progress, since the country was previously declared compliant in five points and the recently concluded meeting in Paris supported Pakistan’s progress in nine more points, so the country found itself Fully accomplished in 14 of 27 action points.
However, the FATF also warned that if the next plenary does not make significant and sustainable progress, especially in the prosecution and criminalization of the TF, the FATF will take measures, which could include calling its members and urging all jurisdictions to advise to their FIs that give special attention to trade relations and transactions with Pakistan.
The FATF also reminded Pakistan that “all the terms of the action plan have expired. While it noted recent notable improvements, the FATF once again expressed concern about Pakistan’s failure to complete its action plan in accordance with the agreed deadlines and in view of the FT risks emanating from the jurisdiction. “
In addition, he stated that since June 2018, when Pakistan assumed a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its AML / CFT regime and address its strategic deficiencies related to anti-terrorist financing, Pakistan’s political commitment has led to advance in a number of areas in its action plan, including risk-based supervision and the search for national and international cooperation to identify cash couriers.
The FATF stated that Pakistan should continue working on the implementation of its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies, which include: (1) demonstrating that corrective actions and sanctions are applied in cases of AML / CFT violations, related to risk management of FT and the obligations of TFS; (2) demonstrate that the competent authorities are cooperating and taking measures to identify and take compliance measures against illegal money or value transfer services (MVTS); (3) demonstrate the implementation of cross-border currency and BNI controls at all ports of entry, including the application of effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions; (4) demonstrate that law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are identifying and investigating the widest range of TF activities and that TF investigations and prosecutions are directed at designated individuals and entities, and those acting on behalf of or under the direction of the designated persons or entities; (5) demonstrate that TF prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions (6) demonstrate the effective implementation of specific financial sanctions (backed by a comprehensive legal obligation) against all designated terrorists 1267 and 1373 and those acting on behalf or on your behalf, including preventing the collection and transfer of funds, identifying and freezing assets (movable and immovable) and prohibiting access to funds and financial services; (7) demonstrate the application of the law against violations of TFS, including administrative and criminal penalties, and the provincial and federal authorities that cooperate in cases of law enforcement; (8) demonstrate that facilities and services owned or controlled by a designated person are deprived of their resources and the use of resources.
The Ministry of Finance issued a statement on Friday stating that the FATF plenary meeting was held in Paris from February 16 to 21, 2020, which was attended by the Pakistani delegation led by Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Minister of the Economic Affairs Division.
During the last reporting period, Pakistan has made significant progress in the implementation of the FATF Action Plan, which has been demonstrated by completing nine additional elements of action.
The FATF recognized the steps taken by Pakistan towards the implementation of its Action Plan and welcomed its high-level political commitment. The FATF also highlighted the need for further actions to complete the Action Plan by June 2020. FATF members agreed to maintain the status of Pakistan in the FATF Compliance Document, normally known as the Gray List.
“The Government of Pakistan undertakes to take all necessary measures to complete the remaining elements in the Action Plan. A strategy was formulated in this regard and is being implemented, ”said the statement.
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