- Pakistan says committed to implementing AML/CFT regime
Pakistan has until October to improve its counter-terror financing operations in line with an internationally agreed action plan or face actions against it, a global watchdog said on Friday.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said it was concerned that Pakistan had failed to complete the action plan first by a January deadline and then again by a May deadline.
“The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan by October 2019 when the last set of action plan items are set to expire,” the FATF said in a statement. “Otherwise, the FATF will decide the next step at that time for insufficient progress,” it said after a meeting in Orlando, Florida.
In a statement issued by the Finance Ministry, Pakistan said it would take all-out measures to ensure completion of the FATF action plan in a timely manner.
“Pakistan was placed by FATF in its compliance document in view of an action plan agreed with Pakistan in June 2018 to strengthen its AML/CFT Regime,” the statement recalled.
In today’s meeting, the FATF reviewed progress made by Pakistan towards the implementation of the action plan, the statement said, adding that the FATF acknowledged the measures taken by Pakistan to improve its AML/CFT regime.
According to the statement, the FATF highlighted the need for further actions for implementing the action plan. “The Government of Pakistan reiterates its commitment to take all necessary measures to ensure completion of the Action Plan in a timely manner,” it added.
The FATF already has Pakistan on its “grey list” of countries with inadequate controls over curbing money laundering and terrorism financing. But India wants Pakistan blacklisted, which would likely result in sanctions.
According to Press Trust of India (PTI), support of at least three member countries of FATF is essential to avoid being placed on the blacklist.
“The danger is still not over. This is certainly a positive development that there is no imminent threat of blacklisting [by the FATF] due to crucial support from Turkey, China and Malaysia,” Turkey’s Anadolu Agency quoted a Pakistan Foreign Ministry official as saying.
Pakistan was placed on the “gray list” in June 2018. Islamabad was given a 27-point action plan by the Paris-based organisation that has 36 member countries.
Pakistan was required to comply with the 27-point action plan by January 2019, by blocking financial loopholes and money laundering from its land.
The deadlines were renegotiated in February and the new deadline to comply with the action plan was finalised to June 2019. Last month, in a meeting held in China’s Guangzhou, Pakistan was asked to do more on 18 of the 27 points.