FATF announces to keep Pakistan on gray list

ISLAMABAD, June 17 ( Alliance News): The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced after a three-day meeting that Pakistan has shown improvement in the new action plan but more work needs to be done and it will remain on the gray list.

“Congratulations to Botswana and Mauritius on being removed from the gray list,” FATF President Dr. Marcus Player told a virtual press conference after the three-day meeting.

Referring to Pakistan, he said, “Pakistan will remain under surveillance. The Pakistani government has shown improvement in 30 out of 34 points.”

He said that Pakistan had major money laundering issues in the action plan pointed out by FATF’s regional partner APG in June.

He said that Pakistan as a whole was performing well on this new action plan.

The FATF President said that 4 out of 7 points of the Action Plan have been implemented, including legal amendments for financial oversight of the authorities and international cooperation.

He said that earlier Pakistan’s action plan had focused on the issue of terrorist financing and had implemented 26 of its 27 points.

“Pakistan has taken a number of important steps, but more needs to be done to investigate and punish the senior leadership of groups designated as terrorists by the United Nations,” he said.

The FATF president said all the changes were aimed at helping the authorities curb corruption, terrorism and criminals benefiting from crime.

He said he was grateful to the government for its continued commitment.

When asked if Pakistan would be blacklisted for failing to take action against those on the UN list of terrorists? So he replied that Pakistan has implemented 30 out of 34 points of the two action plans.

“This shows the determination of the Pakistani government, so there was no talk of blacklisting Pakistan and the FATF insists on other points,” he said.

He said that the government of Pakistan was cooperating with FATF.

Marcos said views for change would be included and that the next FATF meeting would be in February next year.

Reacting to the FATF’s decision, Energy Minister Hamad Azhar said on Twitter that it was “good news.”

“For the Money Laundering Action Plan, 4 out of 7 points were completed within a cycle, a breakthrough in the history of the FATF,” he said.

“Out of the 27 points in the 27-point plan for action against terrorist financing, 26 points have already been completed. Most countries believe that we have completed the action plan,” he said.

He said that now only a few countries do not agree with the majority that Pakistan has made progress on the action plan for financing for terrorism.

“We are close to a consensus on the challenges, and our technical position will be recognized soon,” Azhar said.

FATF makes decisions by consensus
Asked about the Indian minister’s claim of Modi government’s assurance to keep Pakistan on the gray list, the FATF president said that FATF is a technical body and “we make our decisions by consensus”. And there is more than one country in decision-making.

It may be recalled that after the last FATF meeting in July, Indian External Affairs Minister Jay Shankar had said that the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had kept Pakistan on the FATF gray list. Made sure to keep

J. Shakar had said in a virtual meeting held for training of BJP leaders on foreign affairs that because of us Pakistan is under the supervision of FATF and has been placed on the gray list.

Marcus Player declined to comment on the Indian minister’s statement, saying that the FATF consists of 39 aspects and all decisions regarding Pakistan are taken by full consensus.

Turkey, Jordan, included in the financial gray list Informing about other decisions of FATF, Marcos Player said that Botswana and Mauritius have been removed from the gray list.

He said that Zimbabwe has completed its action plan and is awaiting site inspection and will review it as soon as the situation with Code-19 improves.

Announcing the inclusion of Jordan, Mali and Turkey in the gray list, the FATF President said that the three countries have agreed on an action plan.

He said that Turkey was reviewed in 2019 where serious problems of money laundering and financing of terrorism were identified.

He said that Turkey has shown some improvement but there are problems and it needs to solve money laundering cases and terrorism financing effectively.

Earlier, a FATF plenary virtual meeting was held under the chairmanship of Dr. Marcus Player and was attended by 205 delegates including observers from Global Network and International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations, Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units.

According to the FATF’s website, the FATF will finalize key reports, including a review of the Virtual Assets Guide and its providers, and the next step is to strengthen the quality of ownership transparency.

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