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Business & Finance

Pakistan remains committed towards completion of FATF Action Plan, says Azhar

  • Azhar said that FATF is itself admitting that Pakistan has completed 90pc of its Action Plan target.
Updated 26 Feb 2021

Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar has said that the government target is to complete the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Action Plan.

Addressing media persons on Friday, Hammad Azhar, Chairman FATF Coordination Committee, who lead the Pakistani delegation at FATF said that when they came into power, the government priority was to avoid getting blacklisted.

“This was the most challenging and comprehensive FATF Action Plan however, fortunately, we were able to meet the targets. In the previous plenary, the FATF countries and its secretariat announced that Pakistan would not be blacklisted because Pakistan has made significant progress,” said Azhar.

“Secondary our target was to complete the 27 points Action Plan of FATF, as we want to give a message to the global community that the Pakistani financial systems and anti-terrorism financing system are well ahead than the rest of the world,” he added.

Azhar said that FATF is itself admitting that Pakistan has completed 90pc of its Action Plan target. He said that Pakistan continued to comply with FATF despite the pandemic and achieved significant progress as well.

About the remaining three points Azhar stated that they are ‘partially compliant’ on them but will soon become largely compliant on them as a lot of work has already been done. He said Pakistan will come out of the grey list after compliance with the remaining three points.

He said Pakistan is determined to act against money laundering and terror financing.

He said that despite the most difficult Action Plan compounded with tight timelines alongside the coronavirus pandemic, Pakistan was able to achieve exemplary progress, and “I am hopeful that we would complete this action plan very soon.”

Answering a question, Hammad said India misused the FATF platform to push Pakistan into the blacklist, but due to the government's concerted efforts of implementing the action plan, this has not been an option for Pakistan now.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has appreciated Pakistan for the significant progress made on the entire action plan. The Plenary meetings of FATF were held virtually from 22-25 February 2021, where its members discussed a range of topics relating to Pakistan’s progress.

Pakistan’s delegation in the FATF Plenary was led by Mr. Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Chairman FATF Coordination Committee / Federal Minister for Industries and Production and attended by senior officers from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NACTA, FMU, National FATF Secretariat and other key stakeholders.

In its plenary meeting held on 25th February, FATF has stated that “To date, Pakistan has made progress across all action plan items and has now largely addressed 24 of the 27 action items.” The FATF has also acknowledged the continued high-level political commitment of Pakistan to combat terrorist financing which, according to FATF statement, has led to significant progress across a comprehensive countering financing of terrorism plan.

In addition to the acknowledgement by FATF in its plenary statement that Pakistan has made significant progress on the entire action plan by addressing 24 out of the 27 items in the action plan, Pakistan has also made notable progress in the remaining 3 action items which also stand partially addressed.

As of now, all the 10 action items pertaining to the financial sector and border controls have been addressed. In relation to Terrorism Financing (TF) investigations and prosecutions, 6 of the 8 action items have been addressed, whereas for targeted financial sanctions, 8 of the 9 action items also stand addressed. The progress on the remaining 3 action items is well underway with significant progress made so far.