FATF: Pakistan’s name to be in the Gray List

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to keep Pakistan on the gray list till the next session; a three day meeting was held to come the decision.

Sources have reported, Pakistan has been on the FATF’s gray list since 2018 due to shortcomings in counter-terrorism funding and anti-money laundering. It announced after a three-day meeting that Pakistan has shown improvement but more needs to be done but will remain on the watch list.

The three-day FATF meeting in Paris, chaired by Dr. Marcus Player, was attended by 205 delegates, including observers from the Global Network and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units.

The FATF says:

“Pakistan has taken important steps but more needs to be done. The decision regarding Pakistan has been taken by consensus.”

On the other hand, Turkey, Jordan and Mali have been included in the FATF gray list.

The meeting reviewed the progress made by the Government of Pakistan on the 27th condition. It also examined Pakistan’s performance on money laundering and punishment of terrorists. According to FATF, Pakistan has made significant progress in eradicating money laundering. The country has fulfilled 4 out of 6 conditions. In short, the government of Pakistan has fulfilled 26 out of 27 conditions.

FATF has decided to keep Pakistan on the gray list till February next year after reviewing the steps taken so far by Pakistan on money laundering and terrorist financing.

“We thank the government of Pakistan for its full cooperation,” they said.

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“Congratulations to Ghana and Mauritius on being removed from the gray list,” FATF President Dr. Marcos Player told a virtual press conference.

Earlier, the official website of Financial Action Task Force stated that the FATF would finalize key reports, including a review of guidance on virtual assets and their providers, and ownership in the next phase. Strengthening the standard of transparency will be discussed.

“Participants will also discuss the results of a survey conducted to identify or enforce FATF anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws. The FATF will renew its approach to demarcation with strategic flaws in its efforts to eliminate money laundering and terrorist financing,”

the website said.

At its meeting in June this year, the FATF announced that Pakistan would continue to be on the gray list, saying that Pakistan had improved on 26 out of 27 points. Pakistan’s performance is satisfactory but the last condition has to be adhered to 6 points. Pakistan needs to improve its punishment system. 1376 UN-designated terrorists will have to be punished.

President Marcus Player had said that Pakistan would remain under surveillance, adding that the Pakistani government had done a good job in strengthening the anti-terrorism financing system. It was reiterated that action was needed on the Financial Terrorism Plan, which included the investigation and sentencing of leaders and commanders on the UN terrorist list.

It is reported that Player continued:

“In 2019, the FATF’s regional partner APGA had identified steps towards Pakistan’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing system, but since then there has been an improvement and cases have been made. Financial intelligence was used for this. Pakistan has so far failed to effectively implement the FATF’s global standards in many areas, which means that the concerns about money laundering are still high, given the risks of corruption and organized crime. That is why the FATF is working with the Pakistani government in areas where improvements are needed. The last point was worked out according to the first action plan but the name was not removed from the list because another action plan was given along with it.”

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Earlier, the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering ranked Pakistan better in 21 of the FATF’s 40 technical recommendations against money laundering and terrorist financing. They had declared Pakistan’s ranking better for significant results and placed it in the ‘follow-up based on further improvement’ category. The second follow-up report on Mutual Evaluation of Pakistan downgraded the country to one category. The victim was shown.

The report said that Pakistan had improved in 5 cases, showing ‘extraordinary improvement’ in 15 other cases while in one case it had ‘partially complied with the FATF directive’. The recommendations have been fully complied with and to a large extent in 24 other cases.

According to the report, Pakistan is ‘partially complying’ with 7 recommendations and 2 out of 40 recommendations are not being implemented at all. The report further said that in this regard, Pakistan has complied with 31 out of 40 FATF recommendations Is or is doing.

Pakistan has been on the FATF gray list since June 2018, while India and its allies have been trying to get Pakistan blacklisted.

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