The FATF and Pakistan

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Despite the significant progress made by Pakistan, the FATF has decided to keep Pakistan on its grey-list till June 2021. The plenary meeting of FATF was scheduled from 22 and 25 February in which the FATF gave its decision on Pakistan’s case. Pakistan was put on the grey-list in June 2018 and an Action Plan was decided between Pakistan and the FATF to combat Money Laundering (ML) and Terror Financing (TF). Since 2018, Pakistan has been aggressively working on the 27-Point Action Plan and has shown unmatched progress as compared to countries in the grey-list of the FATF. Therefore, there were high hopes in Pakistan that Pakistan would exit the grey-list in this plenary meeting but the FATF decided to keep Pakistan on the grey-list. Anyhow, Pakistan has not only avoided the black-list but also headed towards the completion of the FATF action plan and will easily be removed from the grey-list by June 2021. The statement on the FATF website states that Pakistan should continue to work on implementing the three remaining items in its action plan to address its strategically important deficiencies, namely by: (1) demonstrating that TF investigations and prosecutions target persons and entities acting on behalf or at the direction of the designated persons or entities; (2) demonstrating that TF prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions; and (3) demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists,  specifically those acting for or on their behalf. It further says that the FATF takes note of the significant progress made on the entire action plan. To date, Pakistan has made progress across all action plan items and has now largely addressed 24 of the 27 action items. As all action plan deadlines have expired, the FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan before June 2021.

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