FATF to Finalize Pakistan’s Status by 13th September

Pakistan has submitted a detailed report, for strengthening its anti-money laundering systems and combating terrorism financing framework, to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The report submitted by Pakistani officials details the steps taken by the government in light of FATF’s recommendations.

It was submitted by Minister for Economic Affairs Division Hammad Azhar, who is leading the 15-member delegation to Bangkok for negotiations with the FATF. The negotiations will continue until September 13.

Officials from the State Bank of Pakistan, Ministries of Finance and Interior, Federal Investigation Agency, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), National Counter Terrorism Authority and the Financial Monitoring Unit are part of the negotiation team.

During negotiations, FATF was informed about the measures taken by Pakistan to prevent suspicious transactions. The officials responded to FATF’s queries about restricting illegal activities and freezing assets of proscribed organizations and groups. They also briefed the anti-money laundering watchdog on the legislation for foreign currency regulations.

FATF’s Asia Pacific Group scrutinized Pakistan’s performance on key issues related to terrorists, terrorist organizations and financiers to prevent raising, moving and using funds and abusing the non-profit organizations (NPO) such as NGOs sector in Tuesday’s meeting.

During the first two days, Pakistan’s compliance report on a 27-point action plan was discussed. The Pakistani team, led by Azhar, attended the meeting and in his maiden speech, the minister said that Pakistan would comply with all requirements of FATF.

FATF placed Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018 and came up with a 27-point action plan (to be implemented in one year) for removing it from the list. Pakistan has been given a deadline of October 2019 and now Islamabad had submitted its compliance report on the 27-point action plan and is hoping that the FATF would not place it on the blacklist.

The FATF will evaluate the report submitted by Pakistani officials. It will make a final decision on whether to exclude Pakistan from its grey list, keep it or place it on the blacklist at a meeting in Paris on October 14-18.

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