Minister discusses Pakistan’s progress on FATF action plan with APG

September 11, 2019

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Minister for Economic Affairs Division Hammad Azhar. — File photo courtesy of DawnNewsTV
Minister for Economic Affairs Division Hammad Azhar. — File photo courtesy of DawnNewsTV

Minister for Economic Affairs Division Hammad Azhar discussed Pakistan’s progress on the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) action plan during meetings with the Asia-Pacific Joint Group (APG) — the watchdog's regional affiliate, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

According to a press release, a senior-level delegation led by Azhar attended two days of "face-to-face meetings" with the APG.

"The Pakistan delegation effectively presented Pakistan’s progress on each of the FATF Action Plan items and provided additional information and clarification to the [APG]," read the statement.

"The minister conveyed the government’s strong commitment to implement the international anti-money laundering (AML)/combating financing of terrorism (CFT) standards and reaffirmed Pakistan’s unequivocal commitment to work with international community in the fight against money laundering, terrorism financing and other financial crimes."

The APG has 40 recommendations for the AML standards and another eight for CFT.

The finance ministry statement added that as per FATF’s procedures, the APG will present its report in the FATF Plenary and Working Group meetings scheduled from October 13-18 in Paris, France.

Pakistan is currently being monitored at three different but interlinked levels — APG, the United States and the FATF — that would determine the country’s possible exit from the FATF grey list. Given significant progress on its 10-point action plan on 27 different standards, authorities expect to secure a couple of months of grace period to be fully compliant when the country comes under final review of the FATF by mid-October.

Last month, Prime Minister Imran Khan had set up a high-powered 12-member National FATF Coordination Committee to ensure execution of all FATF-related tasks till December 1. Led by the economic affairs minister, the coordination committee comprises three secretaries, heads of some institutions and three officials from GHQ.