Expressing dissatisfaction over Pakistan’s efforts to combat terror financing, a delegation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has asked the country to take robust steps to strengthen its legal framework if it wants to avoid being blacklisted by the anti-money laundering watchdog, according to a media report on Saturday.
Currently placed on the FATF’s ‘grey list’, Pakistan has been scrambling in recent months to avoid being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations by the Paris-based watchdog, a measure that officials here fear could further hurt its economy.
A nine-member team of the FATF’s Asia-Pacific Group (APG), which visited Pakistan from October 8 to October 19 to review the progress made by it on an action plan agreed in June to address global concerns, has finalised a report with 40 recommendations for de-listing Islamabad from its ‘grey list’ from September 2019.
However, the APG delegation has expressed dissatisfaction over Pakistan’s progress to comply with international best practices against money laundering and counter-terror financing, the Dawn reported.
Quoting sources, it said the APG delegation, which shared its final findings with the authorities, has highlighted shortcomings on anti-money laundering front, control and monitoring of non-profit organisations and counter-terror financing mechanism as various institutions suffered poor interface of information sharing and action to combat these deficiencies.
Even in areas where legal framework was robust, the APG found the implementation as too weak, the report said.
Highlighting deficiencies in law, regulations and mechanisms and weaknesses of various institutions, the delegation said with this pace, Pakistan was unlikely to get out of the grey list.
Officials of the ministries of interior, finance, foreign affairs and law besides the State Bank of Pakistan, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, the National Counter-Terrorism Authority, the FIA, the Federal Board of Revenue, the National Accountability Bureau, the Anti-Narcotics Force, the FMU, the Central Directorate of National Savings and provincial counter-terrorism departments attended the briefings and explanations.