Pak delegation in Australia to present action plan to exit from FATF list
A high-level delegation from Pakistan is in Australia for a three-day meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that will review the progress made by the government to stop money laundering and terrorist financing. The 12-member Pakistani team will explain the action plan that the government intends to follow to come into compliance with international obligations and secure an exit from the grey list of the Paris-based watchdog. The Financial Action Task Force in its Paris meeting in June last year placed Pakistan onto its watch list in a bid to push the country to halt support for militant groups.
Pakistan on Friday dispatched a Terror Financing Risk Assessment Report electronically to FATF followed by a 12-member team led by Secretary Finance Arif Ahmed Khan to Sydney to attend the three-day meeting, beginning Saturday.
The delegation comprised representatives of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Financial Monitoring Unit.
The official said the delegation will address questions and observations of the FATF on the basis of risk assessment report transmitted to the global anti-terror financing watchdog. The report highlights the implementation status of plans for various agencies of the government on the FATF's recommendations. The report identified some key routes of the terror financing and money laundering, saying Pak-Afghan and Pak-Iran borders were two key routes of such flows, the daily said.
To address the challenge, checking and security systems at Pak-Afghan border had been strengthened with improved technology and vigilance while security had also been beefed up at Pak-Iran border, the report said. The report said that the long coastal belt was also a source of smuggling and security was being tightened through law enforcement agencies, including through marine and coast guards. It said the tools being used for the financial transaction for terrorism included donations, cash smuggling, natural resources, drugs, non-governmental organisations and foreign agencies.
In June 2018, Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its AML/CFT regime and to address its strategic counter-terrorism financing-related deficiencies by implementing a 10-point action plan to accomplish these objectives. The successful implementation of the action plan and its physical verification by the APG will lead the FATF to clear Pakistan out of its greylist or else move into the blacklist by September 2019.
(With inputs from agencies.)