A plenary meeting between Pakistan delegation and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has begun today on Monday, Feb 17, 2020. in Paris,
Pakistan delegation led by Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar has reached in Paris to meet the Financial action task force (FATF) team.
The FATF meeting will decide whether Pakistan will remain under ‘risk’ status or will successfully get itself off the financial watch dog’s list.
FATF’s proposed measures for Pakistan to get off the list
Curb Money Laundering
“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 issued by the watchdog stated. The next meeting shall take place in October 2019 to review the same.
Interestingly, Turkey, China, and Malaysia have assured Pakistan of their constant support. India has been trying to brand Pakistan as a ‘terror-sponsoring state’ but, in Pakistan’s Foreign Minster’s words, the smart and intelligent diplomacy of the Prime Minister helped Pakistan defeat India.
Action against proscribed organizations
The Financial Action Task Force suggested Pakistan show its commitment to taking strong actions against banned organizations that are involved in terror-financing. The financial watchdog showed its concerns over the functions of Jamat-Ud-Dawa of Hafiz Saeed.
Institutional tasks to comply with the FATF action plan
The global financial anti-money laundering watchdog tasked Pakistan’s economic and business institutions to comply with the FATF action plan. As per details, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) were assigned a task to collect record including telecom banking in this regard. SBP’s monitoring unit would provide data of prize bond owners.
In addition to it, the Jamat u Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed was also arrested on Feb, 13 whose organization was involved in terror financing
The FATF decided in February 2019 to place Pakistan on its grey list in June on a campaign pushed through by the United States and its European allies for allegedly not doing enough to ban UN- and US-designated religious organizations and rein their activities.
Previously, Pakistan has been on the Grey list before in 2011 and was given a ten-point agenda, after the implementation of which its name was withdrawn from the list in 2015.
Pakistan’s concrete progress in implementation of FATF Action Plan
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-fiancing 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.
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 addition to it, the Jamat u Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed was also arrested on Feb, 13 whose organization was involved in terror financing.
Today’s conviction of Hafiz Saeed and his associate is an important step forward – both toward holding LeT accountable for its crimes, and for #Pakistan in meeting its international commitments to combat terrorist financing.
— State_SCA (@State_SCA) February 12, 2020
Meanwhile, it is of greater importance for Pakistan hearing from the United States and this will help Pakistan in strengthening its point of view to get itself off the grey list of the FATF. However, the United States had criticized Pakistan and alleged involvement in terrorism which Pakistan repeatedly denied. The recent developments that Pakistan has taken to counter terrorism; one among them conviction of JuD leader Hafiz Saeed is praiseworthy and this has strengthened Pakistan’s narrative of taking stern actions against terrorism and against those involved in financing terrorist activities.
What Pakistan needs in today’s Paris meeting
Pakistan was given a list of 27 points, out of which 14 have been fully met, while rest are partially met. Moreover, Pakistan needs 12 votes out of 39 to get off the list.