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FATF scrutinizes Pakistan's compliance report

IANS | September 10, 2019 04:12 PM

ISLAMABAD: The FATF's Asia Pacific Group has scrutinized Pakistan's compliance report on the supervision of a regulatory regime and investigation against outfits and persons involved in terror-financing.

The Financial Action Task Force is the global watchdog for terror financing and money laundering.

Pakistan's 15-member delegation led by Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar defended the country's compliance report on the first day of the FATF's Asia Pacific Group meeting in Bangkok on Monday.

Pakistan submitted detailed answers to 125 questions posed by the body on steps taken by the country to strengthen anti-money laundering steps and combat financing of terrorism, as Islamabad seeks to move out of the FATF grey list.

"Now the FATF's Asia Pacific Group will scrutinize Pakistan's performance on key issues related to terrorists, terrorist organisations and financiers for preventing from raising, moving and using funds and from abusing the non-profit organisations (NPO) such as NGOs sector in (Tuesday) meeting," top official sources had told the News International.

The report cited one top official as saying that Pakistan would tell "all good things" it had done in terms of taking over the assets and related investigation being carried out in cases of terrorist outfits in the last six months in order to ensure compliance with FATF requirements.

The FATF's Asia Pacific Group face-to-face meeting began in Bangkok on Monday and will continue till Friday. In the first two days, Pakistan's compliance report on a 27-point action plan is supposed to be discussed.

The Pakistani team led by Azhar attended the meeting and in his maiden speech, he made a commitment that the country would comply with all requirements of the FATF.

The outcome of the negotiations with FATF will decide whether Pakistan continues to feature in the grey list or is put on the black list, during the watchdog's meeting in Paris on October 16-18.

Pakistan has been under the FATF radar for its complicity with terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) among others. In addition, terrorists like Hafiz Saeed are regularly seen ranting anti-India rhetoric and collecting "donations".

On August 22, the Asia-Pacific Group (APG), a regional affiliate of the watchdog, had placed Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (black list) for its failure to meet standards.

In its 22nd Annual Meeting held in Canberra, the APG found that Pakistan was non-compliant on 32 of the 40 compliance parameters of terror financing and money laundering.

The FATF placed Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018 because of deficiencies in the country's anti-money laundering steps and countering of terror financing regulations.

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