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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh Monday asked the departments concerned to expedite efforts to comply with the remaining three items of action plan of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The federal minister chaired the 17th meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) on Anti-Money Laundering, here. Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Hammad Azhar, Secretary Law Raja Naeem Akbar, Secretary Finance Kamran Ali Afzal, Director General-FMU Lubna Malik, Director General-FATF Khawaja Adnan, Director General-OPS NAB Zahir Shah, Director General (CT) Ministry of Foreign Affairs Asim Ali Khan, Deputy Governor State Bank of Pakistan Jameel Ahmed, Additional Director General FIA Ahsan Saqib, Director General MO Major General Nauman Zakaria, and senior officials of the Finance Ministry participated in the meeting.

The finance minister has stated that the efforts have been made by the National Executive Committee, under the chairmanship of the Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, in achieving major milestones with reference to 27-point FATF Action Plan.

The unity of purpose, team work and meticulous coordination among various ministries and departments concerned have brought Pakistan closer to achieving the target of completing the FATF Action Plan, despite enormous challenges, he added.

The DG FMU briefed the Committee on overall progress achieved on the FATF Action Plan and outlined efforts underway for the remaining targets to be achieved in due course of time.

Pakistan has received international recognition and support for making strides vis-à-vis an exigent Action Plan given by the FATF, she apprised.

While acknowledging the robust progress demonstrated by the relevant ministries and departments, the finance minister urged to expedite efforts for fulfilling requirements in a few remaining areas. The strict adherence to timelines would culminate into successful completion of the FATF Action Plan, he stressed.

The FATF last Thursday, decided to keep Pakistan on its “grey list”, despite considerable progress made by the country as it complied with 24 action plans out of 27.

On remaining three points, the FATF will review Pakistan’s progress in a plenary session in June 2021.

The FATF has asked Pakistan to continue work on implementing the three remaining items in its action plan to address its strategically important deficiencies, namely by demonstrating that TF (terrorism financing) investigations and prosecutions target persons and entities acting on behalf or at the direction of the designated persons or entities; demonstrating that TF prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions; and demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists, specifically those acting for or on their behalf.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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