Pakistan has made progress on all 27 paradigms or benchmarks decreed as per the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Action Plan, reported Business Recorder.
A compliance report was sent to the governing body last month, proceedings for which are expected to be finalized by February’s end. FATF would review Pakistan’s progress on the Action Plan in its three-day plenary meeting being held on February 22, February 24 and February 25
The government is reportedly “sure that all the benchmarks set in FATF Action Plan have been achieved”. All divisions have exhausted all feasible options to make sure that all the 27 requirements are met. “Now it is up to them (FATF) how they see the progress we have made and what decisions they take,” stated the report by quoting a source in the government.
It is worth mentioning that last year, the FATF had highlighted terror financing, money laundering, and other illegal activities for Pakistan to address before the task force’s next plenary meeting in 2021.
The government has also taken strong action against organizations involved in extreme practices. Courts have sentenced lengthy jail terms to top leaders of certain groups and organizations with the help of strict regulations.
Regarding the monitoring of alleged financial blips in the past, the Federal Government has established a dedicated Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) under the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Commitments made to FATF in this regard are being fulfilled, added the sources.
Meanwhile, the Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Hammad Azhar, is leading the government’s efforts to move Pakistan out of the Grey List. He is expected to represent Pakistan in the upcoming FATF plenary meeting this month.
In June 2018, FATF placed Pakistan on its list of “jurisdictions under increased monitoring” citing structural deficiencies, which, according to FATF, resulted in Pakistan’s failure to effectively combat terror financing and other malpractices.
In February 2020, they again expressed concerns over these issues and along with the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG), issued a 27-point Action Plan for Pakistan to address these structural deficiencies.
Later in October 2020, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) commended Pakistan for achieving targets in 21 of the 27 items as requested. The task force later asked the country to achieve complete status on the Action Plan by February 2021.
Currently, the wider FATF membership acknowledges Pakistan’s commitment to addressing key issues and for remaining transparent in matters of national security.