New Delhi: Pakistan seems to be high on the radar of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global inter-governmental body to combat terror financing.
It is understood that during the FATF’s third plenary meeting under the presidency of Spain in Valencia recently, Pakistan’s record once again came under close scrutiny. The FATF report is understood to have virtually slammed the continued complicity of Pakistan in financing terrorist entities. The report is believed to have highlighted that there continues to be certain “UNSCR 1267 designated entities” (terror entities) in Pakistan that receive and disperse funds without controls being applied by the competent authorities. The FATF’s International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) has, therefore, requested the Asia Pacific Group (APG) to provide the revised follow-up report on Pakistan to the ICRG. UNSCR-1267 refers to the UN Security Council Resolution 1267, which had established a sanctions regime against terror entities and terrorists. Observers point out that it is open knowledge that terrorist organisations like the LeT and the JeM operate from Pakistan with impunity.
“In February 2017, the ICRG requested the APG to provide its analysis report on Pakistan. Given the concerns raised in this report that highlighted that there continue to be certain UNSCR 1267 designated entities that receive and disperse funds without controls being applied by the competent authorities, the ICRG recommends further reporting to the ICRG be provided either by the APG or, failing that, directly from Pakistan. The ICRG requested the APG to provide the revised follow-up report on the Pakistan to ICRG following the discussion of the report at the APG Annual Meeting in July 2017. Should the APG Plenary decide not to provide this report, the ICRG granted permission to the ICRG co-Chairs to request in August for Pakistan to comprehensively report directly to the ICRG in September on updates regarding Pakistan’s implementation of UNSCR 1267 with respect to designated entities of concern. An FATF Secretariat analysis of one of these reports will serve as the basis for discussion at the October 2017 Plenary,” the FATF report is understood to have said.
“In February 2015, when Pakistan was removed from ICRG monitoring, the FATF encouraged Pakistan to continue working with the FATE and APG to improve and effective implement its AML/CFT systems, in particular with respect to implementing UNSCR 1267. When Pakistan reported back on this matter, some ICRG members expressed a concern that these issues still had not been resolved.
Consequently, the ICRG had referred the issue of Pakistan’s implementation of UNSCR 1267 with respect to designated entities of concern to the APG for ongoing monitoring,” the report further said.
The FATF “is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the ministers of its member jurisdictions” and its objectives “are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system”. The FATF “has developed a series of recommendations that are recognised as the international standard for combating of money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction”.
It “monitors the progress of its members in implementing necessary measures, reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures, and promotes the adoption and implementation of appropriate measures globally”. In collaboration with other international stakeholders, the FATF also “works to identify national-level vulnerabilities with the aim of protecting the international financial system from misuse.” The FATF’s decision making body, the FATF Plenary, meets thrice a year.