FATF keeps Pakistan in grey list despite 'significant progress' on action plan

09:39 AM | 5 Mar, 2022
FATF keeps Pakistan in grey list despite 'significant progress' on action plan
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PARIS – The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has once again retained Pakistan on its grey list while acknowledging that the South Asian country made "significant progress" in complying with the required action plan for removal from the list.

In a statement, the international watchdog said that Pakistan has completed 26 of the 27 action items of the action plan given to it in 2018.

"Since June 2018, when Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) regime and to address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies, Pakistan’s continued political commitment has led to significant progress across a comprehensive CFT action plan," it said in the statement.

The Paris-based body encourages Pakistan to continue to make progress to address, as soon as possible, the one remaining item by continuing to demonstrate that TF investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terrorist groups.

In response to additional items given to Pakistan in light of 2019 APG Mutual Evaluation Report (MER), in June 2021, FATF noted that Pakistan showed high-level commitment to address these “strategic deficiencies pursuant to a new action plan that primarily focuses on combating money laundering.”

The international watchdog acknowledged that since June 2021, Pakistan actively took measures t improve its AML/CFT regime and completed six of the seven action items ahead of any relevant deadlines expiring.

“Pakistan should continue to work to address the one remaining item in its 2021 action plan by demonstrating a positive and sustained trend of pursuing complex ML investigations and prosecutions,” the statement read.

In response to FATF’s decision, the Finance Division reviewed Pakistan’s progress on both action plans in its Plenary meeting.

"The FATF members, while participating in the discussion on Pakistan’s progress, recognised Pakistan’s continuing commitment towards sustainable, robust AML/CFT frameworks," the statement said.

"Pakistan presented its case in an effective manner and also reaffirmed its political commitment to continue with the efforts to complete the action plans."

"The country is making endeavours to complete the last two remaining items of both the action plans, as early as possible."

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