ISLAMABAD (AP) – An international watchdog said on Friday it would put Pakistan on the list of countries that are not taking full action to fight money laundering and terror financing.
The announcement means, however, that the South Asian country is avoiding being put on the “black list” of the Financial Action Task Force countries. These countries have not only taken adequate action to stop money laundering and terror financing but have not committed to work either. with FATF.
In 2018, the Paris-based group returned Pakistan to a “gray list” of countries at high risk of money laundering and terrorism financing, but has officially committed to working with the task force to make a difference.
Currently, only Iran and North Korea are blacklisted, a designation that severely limits a country’s international borrowing capacity. Pakistan is trying to avoid the designation but is also off the gray list.
The FATF gave Pakistan another four months to improve its performance.
The task force said Pakistan had made some significant progress, but urged the country to finalize its full action plan by February 2021 when it will reconsider whether Islamabad’s status should change.
Friday’s announcement came as no surprise to Pakistan, despite wanting to get off the gray list, the color-coded countries that only partially meet international rules for fighting terrorism financing and money laundering.
The Pakistani government in a statement said it would fully comply with the agency’s requirements this year.
Pakistan hopes to be removed from the agency’s watchlist to help revive the country’s economy, which has seen a decline since 2018, when Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government came to power.
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