Thursday Oct 22, 2020
ISLAMABAD: A plenary of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has started its three-day deliberations in Paris and will take up Pakistan’s case on the last day of the meeting on Friday.
The plenary, which was earlier scheduled in June but got postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will decide Pakistan’s fate whether to keep the country on the grey list for another extended period or to remove it.
In February 2020, the FATF plenary granted Pakistan a grace period of four months to complete its 27-point action plan against money-laundering and terror financing (ML&TF) after it noted that the country was compliant on 14 points.
Pakistan was placed on the grey list in June 2018.
According to a report in The News, the authorities are hopeful of a positive outcome after the country enacted at least 15 pieces of legislation, many of them through a joint sitting of Parliament, to fulfil the requirements set by the international watchdog.
They are confident that there are minimal chances of Islamabad being placed on the blacklist, the report said.
“Pakistan’s case will be discussed on October 23, 2020 at FATF’s plenary meeting and our efforts will not go waste,” one top government official said on the condition of anonymity here on Wednesday.
“We are expecting a positive nod from the FATF’s apex body,” he hoped.
Pakistani authorities claimed that the Joint Working Group (JWG) of FATF had so far found the country compliant on a total 21 points out of the 27 identified in the prescribed action plan. It is yet to be seen how much of the progress will be acknowledged in the FATF plenary.
According to a FATF announcement, the first plenary under the two-year FATF Presidency of Germany's Dr Marcus Pleyer started virtually due to the on-going health crisis.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact around the world, the FATF remains committed to proceeding with its work. As a result of travel restrictions caused by the pandemic, the FATF plenary will meet virtually,” it said.
During the next three days, delegates will discuss a range of issues, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on countries’ ability to detect, prevent and investigate money laundering and terrorist financing. Delegates will also review the progress made by some jurisdictions identified as presenting a risk to the global financial system.
The outcomes of the FATF plenary will be published on Friday, October 23, at the close of the meeting.