Monday, January 20, 2020

Pakistan delegation in Beijing for important FATF meeting

Delegation to brief working group on progress as Pakistan implements FATF action plan

Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani delegation arrived in Beijing on Sunday for a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) scheduled for later this month in which the group will scrutinize the efforts of the country to adopt strict laws against terror financing and money laundering. 

According to a report in The News, the Working Group of the FATF will be briefed by the Pakistani delegation ahead of an official meeting of the body. The briefing will go over whether Pakistan has complied with an earlier agenda presented to it by the financial task force. 

The agenda outlined several policies and laws that Islamabad needed to adapt to avoid being placed in an FATF black-list of countries that are deemed involved in terror financing and money laundering. Presently, Pakistan is on a grey-list of the FATF. 

Also read: Pakistani delegation reaches Paris for two-day FATF meeting

Sources privy to the developments believe that a vote might be held to remove Pakistan from the ‘grey list’, according to the publication. Pakistan had previously avoided the black-listing by FATF with support from several member countries of the financial body.

"If Pakistan does not come out of the ‘grey list’, it is expected to win a ‘largely-compliant’ rating from the FATF regarding implementation of 27 recommendations given in its Action Plan that can help it acquire more time from the watchdog for full compliance," sources told The News.

“India is trying hard to move Pakistan to the ‘black list’, but expected support from China, Turkey and Malaysia would pour cold water on its efforts,” sources added.

Also read: Pakistan condemns 'irresponsible remarks' about Kashmir, FATF by Indian general Rawat

The Pakistani delegation is being led by Minister for Economic Affairs Division Hammad Azhar and comprises representatives of National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta), foreign ministry, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), among others. 

Pakistan has already submitted a 650-page review report to the FATF on January 8. The report was submitted in response to 150 questions raised by the FATF regarding new Pakistani policies on money laundering. The report outlined the steps taken by Pakistan between October 2019 to January 2020 to implement the group’s recommendations.

The FATF announced on October 18 last year that it would retain Pakistan on its ‘grey list’ for four months after which Pakistan might face action if it failed to make any significant progress on adopting strict terror financing and anti-money laundering laws.

Originally published in The News