The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to include Pakistan in the gray list. The next Extraordinary Plenary Session in June 2021 will review the situation in the country.
The FATF President spoke at a press conference from Paris about the results of the four-day virtual plenary meeting. Marcus Player reported this.
Islamabad said Pakistan was looking into the matter.
Three of the 27 points need to be fully addressed, citing the action plan approved by Pakistan.
The FATF President reiterated that Pakistan had made “progress”: “We strongly urge the completion of the [Pakistan] project.”
Once Pakistan shows that it has completed these items, FATF members will agree that the investigation and prosecution of all groups and entities that provide funding to terrorists and their allies should be improved and that courts should show that fines are effective. Vote.
In response to a question from an Indian journalist about the prosecution of terrorists in Pakistan, the player explained that the FATF was not an investigative body. We evaluate the anti-money laundering framework. It does not change in every case, ”he said.
It is now imperative that Pakistan complete its action plan.
The FATF president commented that Pakistan was working for a high-level commitment to implement the recommendations of the Illegal Financing Watchdog, adding that “this is not the time to blacklist a country”.
He added that the stability of the watchdog reforms would be reviewed at the next plenary in June as soon as Pakistan completes its action.
Responding to another question alleging that India was financing terrorism, the FATF president declined to comment on specific incidents, reiterating that Watchdog was not an investigative agency. “India is subject to the same rules as any other country. In time, the FATF will evaluate India as any other country,” he added.
At the same time, a note on the FATF website states that Pakistan should continue to implement the remaining three items in its action plan to address strategically important shortcomings.
1) prove that TF (terrorist financing) investigations and prosecutions are aimed at individuals and institutions representing targeted individuals or organizations;
2) prove that TF prosecutions lead to effective, proportionate and frustrating sanctions; And
3) Demonstrate effective implementation of targeted economic sanctions against designated 1267 and 1373 terrorists, especially those who work for or for them.
“FATF looks at the significant progress that has been made throughout the action plan. To date, Pakistan has made progress in all action plan items and has now addressed 24 of the 27 action plan items, ”the statement said. As all action plan deadlines have expired, the FATF strongly urges Pakistan to expedite the completion of its full action plan before June 2021.
Responding to the FATF decision, Federal Minister Hammad Azhar said that Pakistan had completed 90 percent of the current FATF action plan. Of the 27 items, 24 were largely addressed and the remaining three items were ‘partially addressed’.
“The FATF has recognized Pakistan’s high level of political commitment since 2018. This led to significant progress. The FATF member states also commented that Pakistan would be subject to the most challenging and comprehensive action plan ever offered to any country, ”he tweeted. The country with the different timeframes was subjected to the dual evaluation processes of the FATF.
Azhar said “I would like to commend the hard work done by dedicated teams in multiple government departments at Federal & provincial tiers,”
Senegal, Morocco and Cayman were added to the gray list
The player says North Korea and Iran were kept as two blacklisted countries during the FATF Plenary, but four new locations have been added to the watch list for increased surveillance.
Morocco, Burkina Faso, Senegal and the Cayman Islands are the countries included in the gray list.
With four additions, the list now includes 19 countries and territories. The FATF said it was only partially complying with international law against terrorism financing and money laundering.
North Korea and Iran are the only two countries on the blacklist. Privilege means scrutinizing international financial transactions with those countries and making trading with them expensive and difficult. International lenders may be restricted from lending to blacklisted countries.
The FATF said Kovid-19 did not prevent pandemic criminals from being exploited for their financial gain.
Prior to the Plenary, which began on Monday, the FATF had updated the overall performance of all countries.
Based on this update, it improves compliance with two of FATF’s 40 recommendations to combat money laundering and financing territory (AML / CFT) systems.
Read: Pakistan’s ‘Most Challenging’ FATF Project, Azhar
It found that Pakistan’s progress was inconsistent on four fronts, partially on 25 points and compliant with nine recommendations. Pakistan’s assessment in the Plenary will be based on a 27-point action plan and not on these 40 recommendations.
Diplomats said they did not see Islamabad’s aggressive diplomatic efforts in the past, especially before the October 2020 Plenary Review. She said all options, including blacklisting Pakistan, keeping it on the gray list and removing it from the gray list, could be discussed in the plenary.
However, Pakistan is unlikely to be blacklisted because the FATF has at least three members – China, Turkey and Malaysia – to maintain all pressure against any relegation.
It is based not only on friendly bilateral relationship but also on performance. “From our point of view, we have completed all the work points and acted in accordance with what the country needs to do, but at some point some influential members may object that there is no justification,” an official said.
Pakistan fully complied with 21 of the 27 – point action plan last year, which has softened the FATF’s stance on aggression in the past. But last October, it made the gray list. Following strong advances in updating money laundering, terrorist finance laws, rules, regulations, inter-agency and inter-provincial cooperation, the FATF description has shifted to Islamabad to show serious seriousness on the ground through the results and prosecutions.
In October last year, the FATF announced that Pakistan had made progress on all action plan items and had “addressed 21 of the 27 action plan items”. As all the action plan deadlines have expired, there was a strong demand for speedy completion of Pakistan’s complete action plan in February 2021. At the same time, “note the significant progress made in several action plan items”.
It called on Pakistan to continue implementing the action plan to address strategic shortcomings by “proving” that a wide range of terrorist financing activities are being identified and investigated by law enforcement and that TF investigations and prosecutions are targeting designated individuals and institutions. Those who work in the direction of designated individuals or institutions.
Second, TF prosecutions “need to prove” that sanctions can lead to effective, proportionate, and frustrating sanctions, and third, to “demonstrate” the effective implementation of economic sanctions targeted at 1267 and 1373 designated extremists and those working for or for them. Raise and move funds with non-profit organizations (NPOs), including identifying and freezing movable and immovable assets and restricting access to funds and financial services.
Fourth and final, Islamabad was asked to take action against violations of terrorist financing sanctions (TFS), including NPOs, administrative and criminal penalties, and provincial and federal authorities cooperating in enforcement cases.
Last week, a foreign ministry spokesman said that Pakistan had made significant progress in the remaining six aspects of the FATF action plan and had been widely approved by FATF membership.
Since June 2018, Pakistan has been on the FATF’s gray list for anti – terrorism funding and anti – money laundering regimes.
Until the final assessment, Pakistan was lacking in taking action against organizations allegedly linked to terrorist groups listed by the UN Security Council, prosecuting and punishing banned individuals, and handling the smuggling of drugs and precious stones.
Authorities have recently taken further steps, including prosecuting Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed and his associates in terrorist financing cases.