Islamabad, (TLTP): The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to retain Pakistan on its grey list till June when the next review will take place, said Finance Division on Friday.
The FATF in its statement issued after the Paris meeting said it strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by June 2020. “Otherwise, should significant and sustainable progress especially in prosecuting and penalizing TF (terror financing) not be made by the next Plenary, the FATF will take action,” it added.
It said such action could include calling on its members to order their financial institutions to give particularly rigorous attention to business relations and transactions with Pakistani clients. The watchdog will undertake the next review of Pakistan’s progress in June.
Finance Ministry officials said Pakistan has done much to comply with FATF’s 27-point agenda, which included an unprecedented conviction for terrorism financing of Hafiz Saeed, chief of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
The Finance Division pointed out that during the last reporting period, Pakistan made “significant progress” in the implementation of the 27-point FATF Action Plan, which was demonstrated by the completion of nine additional action items.
“FATF reviewed progress made by Pakistan towards implementation of the Action Plan. While acknowledging the steps taken by Pakistan towards implementation of [the plan] and welcoming its high-level political commitment, FATF highlighted the need for further actions for completing the Action Plan by June 2020,” the handout said.
It said that the government is committed to taking all necessary steps in order to complete the remaining items in the action plan and that a strategy in this regard has been formulated and is being implemented.
Earlier in the day, the Chinese foreign ministry said that a majority of FATF members had recognized Pakistan’s efforts to improve its counter-terrorism financing regime at the financial watchdog’s latest plenary meeting.
“It was decided at the meeting that Pakistan will be allowed more time to continue implementing its action plan,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a news briefing in Beijing.
The statement by the Chinese government came hours ahead of the FATF decision regarding Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in a meeting in Islamabad with Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing thanked the Chinese government for its support in the FATF meetings.
The FATF plenary and working group meetings started in Paris on February 16 and concluded on 21st. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar along with a delegation represented Pakistan
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