FATF action plan: Pakistan submits compliance report, hopes for deadline extension

While the first formal response from the FATF is awaited till this month-end, there may be a face-to-face meeting in Sydney in January 2020.

Published: 04th December 2019 12:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th December 2019 12:30 PM   |  A+A-

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (Photo| AFP)

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (File Photo| AFP)


ISLAMABAD: Facing the risk of being placed on the FATF blacklist with Iran and North Korea, Pakistan has submitted its compliance report to the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) showing its efforts to change anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing laws.

Pakistan has submitted the compliance report before the joint group of FATF to show its efforts to change anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing laws. There will be a response from them and then (there will be) face-to-face meeting, The News International quoted Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar as saying on Tuesday. Azhar is also heading the Pakistani team to the FATF.

Islamabad is hoping that the watchdog extends the current deadline of complying to FATF's 27 action plans from February to June 2020 in its upcoming plenary review meeting as the current deadline is too short.

The FATF had already granted an extension till February 2020 in a meeting in October this year. The task force kept the country on its grey list for an extended period up to February 2020 and warned that Islamabad would be put on the blacklist if it did not comply with the remaining 22 out of 27 points related to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing.

The first formal response from the FATF is awaited till this month-end. "The face to face meeting is expected to be held in Sydney in early January 2020 where Pakistani delegation will be given an opportunity to defend its submitted compliance report," a source was quoted as saying.

Later, FATF's plenary review meeting is scheduled to take place in February 2020 in Paris to decide the fate of the country. Pakistan managed to escape falling into the blacklist due to the diplomatic support from China, Turkey, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Middle East countries.

However, academicians and South Asia experts have raised concerns over the growth of terror groups and jihadi outfits in Pakistan.

In its mutual evaluation report (MER) released in October, the Asia Pacific Group (APG)-- a sub-group of the FATF, warned that Pakistan may remain on the FATF grey list for a protracted period, as it may be handed over another action plan for implementation for one to three years more.

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