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‘Pakistan to implement FATF action plan by February’

‘Pakistan to implement FATF action plan by February’
October 22
10:48 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is committed to fully implementing its action plan to counter money laundering and terrorist financing by February 2020 and get the country out of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list, a government adviser said.

On October 18, FATF, the global watchdog for money laundering and terrorist financing, gave Pakistan a four-month lifeline, urging Islamabad to fulfil its commitments by February 2020, Dawn news reported.

Speaking to the US-based Pakistani media, Financial Adviser Abdul Hafeez Shaikh also highlighted the government’s efforts to revive the national economy.

“Basically, all government institutions are on the same page on this issue. We will take the decisions that we need to fight money laundering and terrorist financing,” said the adviser while responding to a question about the FATF deadline. FATF also warned Pakistan that failing to fulfil its commitments to this international monitoring agency could put the country back on a list of jurisdictions branded as uncooperative and tax havens for terror funding.

Popularly known as the black list, the placement could lead to a punitive action, including the FATF urging all jurisdictions to watch their business relations and transactions with Pakistan.

In 2012, Pakistan was placed on the grey list of countries considered uncooperative and tax havens for terror funding. It remained on list till 2015. Pakistan was re-placed on the gray list on June 29, 2018, and given 15 months to implement a 27-point action plan agreed with the FATF. Shaikh’s remarks echoes Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi statement on the weekend where he said that the Pakistan government would achieve all targets of the FATF by February 2020.

Talking to the media on October 19, the Minister said that the FATF recognised the steps taken by the incumbent government to control money laundering and terror financing, The Express Tribune reported. Separately, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, who led the Pakistani delegation to Paris for the plenary which formally announced that Pakistan would remain on its grey list, said Islamabad has targeted to complete all items on its FATF action plan and get upgraded from the grey to the white list in 2020.

The Minister however, added that more work is needed to be done as Pakistan’s action plan was perhaps the most ambitious and challenging one ever handed out to any country. IANS

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