New Delhi: There is increasing pressure on Pakistan to act fast and put complete freeze on terror funding ahead of the Paris meeting of Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The Asia-Pacific Group (APG) of FATF following a recent meeting has put Pakistan in the “Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List” for failing to meet its standards.
It is learnt that Pakistan was found to be non-complaint on 32 of the 40 compliance parameters. Besides, on the 11 “effectiveness” parameters, Pakistan was adjudged as low on 10.
Pakistan also failed to convince the 41-member plenary to upgrade it on any of the parameters during the discussions that lasted over seven hours over two days in Canberra. As per APGs 3rd round of Mutual Evaluation Procedure, Pakistan would be required to submit follow-up progress reports to it on a quarterly basis.
Pakistan now has to show sincerity in curbing terror financing to avoid getting blacklisted in October 2019, when the 15-month timeline ends on FATF’s 27-point Action Plan.
FATF is the international body tasked to keep a check on money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. APG is a regional body of FATF that requires its members to undergo mutual evaluation on the compliance of its Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework with FATF recommendations.
The next meeting of APG will be held in Thailand on September 5 for a final review. The APG will hand over its final review to FATF for its October meeting.
The Pakistan finance ministry, through a press statement, tried to clarify that the efforts made by the Pakistan government since October 2018 in checking terror funding has not been taken into account. This includes crackdown on 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and his organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawa and banning them from raising funds through religious means.
“The Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) covers the period February to October 2018 and identifies a number of areas where further actions are required to strengthen the AML/CFT framework. The report does not cover the areas in which Government of Pakistan has made substantial progress since October 2018,” the Pakistan finance ministry said.
“The delegation briefed APG members on the steps taken in recent times for improving its AML/CFT framework as well as the actions for ensuring effective implementation of the FATF Action Plan,” it added.