Home South Asia India Pakistan confidently responds to APG despite harsh questioning by Indian officers

Pakistan confidently responds to APG despite harsh questioning by Indian officers

harsh questions

News Analysis |

Pakistan answered all harsh questions raised by the members of the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) on money laundering, a regional affiliate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). According to media reports, a 10-member delegation led by Finance Secretary, Mohammad Younas Dagha, represented Pakistan at the two-day APG meeting in Guangzhou, China. It briefed the group about the country’s updated actions against currency smuggling, proscribed organizations and tightening of financial and corporate sector systems and operational effectiveness.

The APG will submit to the FATF its analysis of the compliance report submitted by Pakistan on the basis of its deliberations and cross-questioning at the Guangzhou meeting and the progress made since the group’s on-site inspection in Islamabad and Karachi in March. The APG report will become the basis for the FATF to exclude Pakistan from its greylist or otherwise.

The government has banned some organizations and arrested several leaders and members of various organizations. Besides, several mosques and religious seminaries have been taken into the control of the state to regulate them.

In line with the recommendations of the FATF, that has declared the proscribed organizations operating in Pakistan a “high risk”, the government will take action against these outfits in the next three to four months, said then-finance minister Asad Umar.

He informed the Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs of the National Assembly that FATF had asked Pakistan in January to place some banned organizations from medium to high risks and Pakistan has placed them in high risks. He also shared that the next three to four months is important as the government will not only make legislation but also arrest the members of the banned organizations.

The government has announced to implement the National Action Plan (NAP), a comprehensive document intended to counter extremism and terrorism, in letter and spirit. The government has banned some organizations and arrested several leaders and members of various organizations. Besides, several mosques and religious seminaries have been taken into the control of the state to regulate them.

Read more: Pakistan in midst of aggressive FATF lawfare

Pakistan has taken a series of measures, with commitment from top civilian and military leadership, to address all weaknesses pointed out by the international watchdog and its affiliates in the long- term interest of the state.

Moreover, the delegation also reported the creation of a specialized directorate of Cross-Border Currency Movement (CBCM) in Islamabad to maintain a database of currency seizures. All model customs formations are required to report on a prescribed format each currency seizure on fortnightly basis. These reports are then shared with the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) and the Federal Board of Revenue, monthly or when called for. The CBCM directorate also has to maintain and update database of suspicious transaction reports (STRs) and ensure information sharing with law enforcement agencies, the FMU, and the FBR on real-time basis.

In order to qualify for a de-listing, the FATF has urged that Pakistan should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies.

Since after the installment of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s government in Pakistan, there have been considerable focus on the elimination of extremism and polices to counter money laundering. Prime Minister Imran Khan himself monitoring all ongoing polices to combat money laundering has badly damaged the country’s economy.

“Since June 2018, when Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF to strengthen its anti-money laundering/combating financing of terrorism regime and to address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies, Pakistan has taken steps towards improving the regime, including by operationalizing the integrated database for its currency declaration regime,”- the FATF said in a statement in February this year.

Read more: Have the dark clouds of FATF started to wither away?

In order to qualify for a de-listing, the FATF has urged that Pakistan should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies.

Facebook Comments