ISLAMABAD: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced that it retained Pakistan on its grey watch list though the global financial watchdog noted Islamabad’s “persistent political commitment” to implement its action plan.
The announcement comes after the sixth plenary meeting of the FATF.
The FATF acknowledged the “significant progress” made by Pakistan in completing the required action items. “Since June 2018, when Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its AML/ CFT regime and to address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies, Pakistan’s continued political commitment has led to significant progress across a comprehensive CFT action plan,” it the statement said. “Pakistan has completed 26 of the 27 action items in its 2018 action plan.”
FATF encourages Pakistan to continue making progress to resolve the one remaining issue as soon as possible and to continue to demonstrate that terrorist financing investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terrorist organizations.
In response to additional deficiencies later identified in Pakistan’s 2019 APG Mutual Evaluation Report (MER), in June 2021, Pakistan provided further high-level commitment to address these strategic deficiencies pursuant to a new action plan that primarily focused on combating money laundering, it added.
Since June 2021, Pakistan had taken swift steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime and completed six of the seven action items ahead of any relevant deadlines expiring, including by demonstrating that it was enhancing the impact of sanctions by nominating individuals and entities for UN designation and restraining and confiscating proceeds of crime in line with Pakistan’s risk profile, the FATF said.
This prompted Pakistan to continue efforts to address one of the remaining items in its 2021 Action Plan, demonstrating a positive and ongoing trend towards complex money laundering investigations and prosecutions.