Pakistan to remain on FATF gray list until Feb 2020

KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan has managed to avoid being placed on the blacklist of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), but will remain on the gray list until February 2020, the global money-laundering watchdog announced on Friday.

The FATF meeting held in Paris, acknowledged some concrete steps taken by Islamabad recently, but directed it to take more measures, for complete elimination of terror financing and money laundering.

Turkey, China and Malaysia are believed to have put their weight behind Islamabad to prevent it being placed on the blacklist.

The 36-nation watchdog agreed that Islamabad had made progress towards implementation of the action plan — negotiated between Pakistan and the FATF members — in June last year but still sought “effective prosecution” in this connection, local media reported quoting unnamed foreign ministry officials.

“Since June 2018, when Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and the Asia-Pacific Group to strengthen its anti-money laundering and counter terror financing regime and to address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies, Pakistan has made progress,“ the FATF said.

Pakistan has been on the global money laundering watchdog’s radar since June 2018, when it was placed on a gray list, after an assessment of the country’s financial system and security mechanism.

The move backed by the U.S., the U.K., and Pakistan’s arch-rival India was opposed by Turkey. Islamabad’s longtime ally, China abstained.

In recent months, Pakistan acted in accordance with the action plan, which includes measures like no foreign currency transactions without a national tax number, and ban on currency change of up to $500 in the open currency market without submission of national identity card copy.

Islamabad has also proscribed several militant groups and seized their assets.
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