FATF action plan progress

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While presenting the performance report of his ministry for the past 20 months, Interior Minister Syed Ijaz Shah told the Prime Minister that most of conditions have been met which had been set in the 27 points Action Plan of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on curbing money laundering and terrorism financing. After putting on the greylist in June, 2018, the global watchdog on money laundering and terrorism financing had given 15 months for complete complain on all points of the plan, during which the ongoing progress was reviewed in several security meeting meetings of Asia Pacific Group and plenary meeting of the global watchdog. In the last plenary meeting, majority members appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for improving counterterrorism financing regime. In that meeting, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had postponed review of Pakistan’s performance report till October, regarding action on the remaining 13 points of action plan to make robust its anti-money laundering (AML) and counterterrorism financing regimes (CTF). The review was scheduled for June 21-26 for which performance report had to be submitted by April 20. Now it will be sent in August for review by the FATF in October. Granting unexpected leash of five months seems to have been necessitated by the global coronavirus pandemic and the watchdog decided to give more time to Pakistan to remove the existing deficiencies in its AML and CTF regimes. In its earlier review of the performance report, the Paris based global watchdog gave Pakistan four months to show total compliance on all 27 points of the action plan for effectively curbing money laundering and terror financing. The required action had been completed on 14 points till February but it was missed on 13 targets. FATF had urged Pakistan for total compliance on all points in its meeting on February 21, failing which the country shall be moved to blacklist. In the previous review, eight supplementary points had been given, stressing effective and coordinated actions by the concerned authorities against money laundering and terror financing; concrete investigation against the designated persons and entities believed to be involved in terrorism financing; result oriented prosecution against such designated persons and entities; and effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions, buttressed by comprehensive legal obligations, against all designated persons and entities that fall within the purview of sanctions included in the United Nations Security Council Resolutions numbering 1267 and 1373.