Pakistan’s performance to meet international commitments and standards in the fight against money laundering and terror financing will be reviewed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) at its meeting slated to be held in Beijing on June 21-26, a government official said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and the army chief General Bajwa are struggling to cobble a clean report to save the country from the fall out of another negative report. Country’s foreign aids are linked with FATF report. But, Pakistan will be in more trouble at the next FATF meeting as the international community, including the US, accusing Pakistan of lenient towards hardcore terrorists like Omar Sheikh, the key accused in the killing is WSJ journalist Daniel Pearl.
In February, the Paris-based global watchdog against financial crimes gave Pakistan a four-month grace period to complete its 27-point action plan against money laundering and terror financing committed with the international community when it noted that Pakistan had delivered on 14 points and missed 13 other targets.
The official told Dawn news that Pakistan’s performance would be reviewed at the joint working group meetings of the FATF and Eurasian Group (EAG) in Beijing and the assessment would lead to final announcement in October if Pakistan should move out of the grey list.
He said certain action points were yet to be complied with the commitments mainly because of ongoing coronavirus lockdowns.
The FATF had announced on February 21 that all deadlines given to Pakistan to complete the 27-point action plan had expired and yet only 14 items had largely been completed, leaving 13 unaccomplished targets.
It strongly urged Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by June or else it would be moved to the list of monitored jurisdiction, commonly known as blacklist.
The FATF had noted “recent and notable improvements” but “again expresses concerns given Pakistan’s failure to complete its action plan in line with the agreed timelines and in light of the TF risks emanating from the jurisdiction”, Dawn news reported.
Pakistan has to show compliance with 13 remaining action points in eight key categories.
The FATF plenary had formally placed Pakistan in the grey list in June 2018, following which the country then committed at the highest level to a 27-point action plan but failed to meet deadlines.
Pakistan has already finalised major amendments to at least a dozen of its laws to meet FATF requirements by June this year.