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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Pakistan likely to get four months breath avoiding FATF black list status

Pakistan is likely to be given further time till October to achieve full compliance with the FATF 27-point action plan. The decision of FATF regarding Pakistan's grey list status will be decided in the Plenary meeting today in Paris.

Pakistan is likely to avoid being blacklisted following deliberations during the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) plenary meeting on Thursday, a day before an official announcement is set to be made today on Feb 21.

Pakistan needed 12 out of 39 votes to get off the list. Pakistan delegation led by the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar. Pakistan received support from friend countries to get off the grey list. However, China, Turkey, and Malaysia have supported  Pakistan in the plenary meeting in Paris.

Pakistan has never shrugged off implementing the Action Plan proposed by the FATF. By December, Pakistan registered 827 cases have been registered against terror financing

The Financial Action Task has expressed satisfaction with Pakistan’s measures to get off the grey list. The Financial Action Task Force is to decide Pakistan’s grey list status today on Feb, 21.

In the recent meeting held at the Watchdog’s headquarter, the FATF has further asked Pakistan to make the prosecution system quick and terror financing persons should be trialed with speedy penalties.

What measures Pakistan has taken thus far

Pakistan has never shrugged off implementing the Action Plan proposed by the FATF. By December, Pakistan registered 827 cases have been registered against terror financing. Likewise, a significant increase of 667 percent increase has been made in arresting the terror-financing culprits. Moreover, the penalty rate to the culprits has also been increased by 403 percent.

In addition to it, the State bank of Pakistan has also successfully hampered the terror-financing and exploring those accounts used in terror financing. Moreover, it has adopted for the first time the blockchain technology to counter the illegal Hawala and Hundi system at the international level.

Read more: FATF: International Lobbying by India Might Retain Pakistan in Greylist

Pertaining to religious seminaries in Pakistan, Islamabad had also its provided report to the Financial Action Task Force, apprising the global watchdog of its compliance with 22 of the remaining points in its ambitious action plan. 113 madrassas across the country are now under the complete administrative control of the Federal government.

In the October 2019 plenary meeting, Pakistan was declared fully compliant on five measures which are (1) understanding risks of counter financing terrorism (CFT) by the financial sector (2) outreach sessions of Anti Money Laundering (AML) and CFT for the financial institutions (3) developing an integrated database at airports (4) mechanism to publicize designated persons and entities and (5) Terrorist Financing (TF) specific units and analysis done by Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).