Pakistan: FATF blues looms as group finds deficiencies in terror combating measures

ANI Islamabad, Pakistan Nov 08, 2019, 02.09 PM(IST)

File photo of Imran Khan. Photograph:( AFP )

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In February last year, the FATF had decided to place Pakistan on the grey list with effect from June 2018.

The danger for Pakistan of remaining in Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) grey-list is not yet over as the anti-terror financing watchdog in its latest report has found serious deficiencies in the country's measures and frameworks to curb money laundering for the global menace.

In its mutual evaluation report (MER) released a few weeks ago, Asia Pacific Group (APG) of the Paris-based watchdog, said that Pakistan may remain on the FATF grey list for a protracted period, as it may be handed over another action plan for implementation for one to three years more, Express Tribune reported after quoting Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar on Thursday.

"As a result of the MER carried out by the Asia Pacific Group, Pakistan was under observation till October 2020," the minister stressed.

"If we do not fully implement the APG's recommendations by October next year, a new action plan of one to three years can be given to Pakistan," the minister said in his opening remarks to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue that met under the chair of former Finance Minister Asad Umar.

In February last year, the FATF had decided to place Pakistan on the grey list with effect from June 2018.

Pakistan had been given a 27-point ambitious action plan that required it to completely choke terror financing and money laundering, dismantle terrorists' sanctuaries and make banking and non-banking financial regulations more stringent.

The APG's MER was separate from the FATF's 27-point plan, which will keep the sword hanging on the country for at least next two to three years.

The FATF plenary met last month and gave Pakistan four more months to completely implement the 27-point Action Plan.

"Pakistan needs to do more and it needs to do it faster. Pakistan's failure to fulfil FATF'`s global standards is an issue that we take very seriously," FATF President Xiangmin Liu said while addressing a news conference in Paris last month.

The FATF Plenary will once again review Pakistan's case in February next year.