Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) Under pressure to crack down on terrorist financing and money laundering, Pakistan has submitted the final compliance report to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and is hoping for an extension of the relaxation period till June 2020.
Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar told media on Tuesday that Islamabad submitted its compliance report before the joint group of the FATF. “There will be a response from them and then (there will be) face-to-face meeting,” said Azhar, who is also Pakistan’s team leader on FATF.
Pakistani authorities are expecting that the FATF may grant another relaxation, probably up to June 2020 in its upcoming plenary review meeting as the present February deadline is too short a period for Pakistan to comply with all 27 action plans.
In a meeting in October this year, the FATF granted an extension till February 2020 and kept the country on its grey list. It warned that Pakistan 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 this month-end.
“The face-to-face meeting is expected to be held in Sydney in early January 2020 where the Pakistani delegation will be given an opportunity to defend its submitted compliance report,” a source told thenews.com.pk.
FATF’s plenary review meeting will take place in February 2020 in Paris to decide the fate of the country.
Pakistan successfully managed to escape falling into the black list due to diplomatic support from China, Turkey, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Middle East countries.
The joint working group of FATF said Pakistan was largely compliant on 10 points, but the FATF plenary meeting accepted Islamabad’s compliance only on five points out of 27 action plans.
The FATF said all deadlines in the action plan have now expired.
While noting recent improvements, the FATF again expressed serious concern at the overall lack of progress by Pakistan to address its terrorist financing risks, and the country’s failure to complete its action plan in line with the agreed timelines, and the resultant terrorist financing risks.
Pakistan has only largely addressed five of 27 action items, with varying levels of progress made on the rest of the action plan.
The FATF strongly urged the country to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2020.
“Should significant and sustainable progress not be made across the full range of its action plan by the next plenary, the FATF will take action, which could include the FATF calling on its members and urging all jurisdictions to advise their financial institutions to give special attention to business relations and transactions with Pakistan,” the FATF said in an earlier statement.