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Pakistan fares poorly in FATF review, faces blacklist ahead of UN meet

Pakistan is in trouble with the country faring poorly in the final review of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) held in Bangkok ahead of the plenary to be held in Paris in October.

The Asia-Pacific Joint Group (APJG), which is a sub-group of the FATF, held a review meeting with Pakistani officials on issues of anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regimes.

Sources say Pakistan’s evaluation by the APJG in Bangkok this week did not match up to its projections. Of the 27-point action plan of the FATF, Pakistan has cleared only six. It has failed to show compliance in 10 points and 11 are in-process.

The FATF had had placed Pakistan on its ‘grey list’ in June 2018, giving the country a 15-month deadline to implement its 27-point action plan which ends in September.

However, on most of the areas of compliance that had to be implemented from June 2018 to May 2019, the work is still in progress.

According to FATF, if Pakistan fails to meet the implementation of the 27-point plan, the country could be blacklisted.

In August 2019, APJG placed Pakistan in the Enhanced Follow Up List for failure to meet its standards.

Of the 40 technical compliance parameters, Pakistan was ‘non-compliant’ on 30 parameters. And, of the 11 effectiveness parameters, Pakistan was adjudged as ‘Low’ on 10.

Sources say, Pakistan could face an uphill task in avoiding the process of blacklisting by the FATF if it does not show “irreversible” and “permanent” action against terror financing and financiers.

Lack of prosecutions and demonstrable action against ‘globally designated terrorists and terror networks’ is one of the major reasons for this adverse report against Pakistan.

Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies are yet to investigate the terrorism financing activity and stop funding to terrorist groups like Da’ish, Al-Qaida, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Haqqani Network and persons affiliated with Taliban.

It comes ahead of the United Nations General Assembly session to be held in New York in September. Imran Khan is expected to face a lot of heat on Pakistan’s lack of political will to root out terrorism.


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