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Pakistan efforts declared satisfactory in FATF meeting

15 October, 2019

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PARIS: Pakistan’s efforts were initially declared satisfactory in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting held in Paris presided over by China regarding money laundering and curbing terrorism financing.

The FATF examined the compliance report of Pakistan in its meeting and expressed satisfaction over new risk assessment study of Pakistan. Brotherly countries, including China, Turkey and Malaysia, have supported the stance of Pakistan. However, the implementation of FATF action plan by Pakistan will be reviewed for another two days after which the global anti-money laundering body will decide whether to maintain or remove Islamabad out of the grey list.

The officials of Finance Ministry noted that Pakistan will not be included in the black list and India will fail in its efforts. According to details, this is the first meeting of FATF being presided over by China, whereas Saudi Arabia is also present as a member.

FATF consists of 37 members, which include the United States, United Kingdom, China, India and Turkey, Gulf Cooperation Council and European Commission. Pakistan and Iran are on top of the agenda in the meeting. The Pakistani team is being led by Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar.

The FATF will determine how convincing and satisfactory are the steps taken by Pakistan to curb money laundering and terror financing, while the action plan given on April 29 is also being reviewed. According to reports, the Pakistani delegation gave satisfactory answers to all questions of FATF. Pakistan also satisfied Indian members on questions about terrorism outfits working in Pakistan. The finance ministry team is hopeful that Pakistan will not be included in the black list. The team said that out of 36 recommendations of FATF, Pakistan had implemented 100% on 9 recommendations, while 27 recommendations had been partially implemented.

The team observed that terror financing had been stopped, while bank accounts of all proscribed organisations were frozen and their assets confiscated.

Pakistan, among many other measures, has effectively complied with one of another strong conditions put forward by the Asia Pacific Group (APG) – a regional affiliate of the FATF – to implement measures for curbing black money in the real estate sector. Pakistan has undertaken a plan to establish a ‘Real Estate Regulatory Authority’ to restrict black money in the sector. The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) prepared an initial draft for the establishment of the authority.

Sources said that during the past eight months, Pakistan had fully focused on the targets given by the FATF due to which there were no concerns of Pakistan being included in the black list. Pakistan’s status will be decided after a thorough review on October 16 and 17.

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