FATF response to Pakistan progress report received

Updated 21 Feb 2020

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FATF has forwarded 150 comments and clarifications. — FATF website/File
FATF has forwarded 150 comments and clarifications. — FATF website/File

ISLAMABAD: Responding to the Pakistan progress report, a regional affiliate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has forwarded 150 comments and clarifications in all sectors, but mostly related to the action taken by the country against banned groups and proscribed persons.

Pakistan had submitted the initial progress report to the Asia Pacific Group (APG) of the FATF on Dec 3 regarding implementation of the action plan, which related to shortcomings pointed out at the previous review.

“The FATF response was received on Friday night and forwarded to relevant departments on Saturday,” an official of the finance ministry told Dawn.

According to sources privy to the development, it has been decided that initially an internal meeting, to be chaired by the director general of the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU), will be held in Islamabad on Sunday (today) and the replies will be collected next week.

The main concern of the FATF is to ensure compliance by Pakistan related to implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing laws.

Sources in the interior ministry said that the there were several questions regarding action taken against seminaries affiliated with banned organisations or proscribed persons who have been listed in IVth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

The FATF has also sought other details including copies of lawsuits filed against banned organisations and proscribed persons.

Originally there were 27 objections over Pakistan and the country was able to respond to five of them with satisfaction report which related to promulgation of anti-money laundering and terror funding laws etc.

The final meetings would be chaired by Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, who is the government’s focal person on FATF issues, and Pakistan will submit its case by Jan 8, 2020.

“A meeting is scheduled to be held during the APG meeting between Jan 21 — 24 in Beijing,” the official said. “The final decision will be made in the FATF meeting likely to be held in Paris in February 2020.”

The FATF is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies for combating money laundering. In 2001 its mandate was expanded to include terrorism financing. It monitors progress in implementing the FATF recommendations through mutual evaluations of member countries.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2019