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Pakistan to remain on FATF grey list

A global dirty money watchdog, Financial Action Task Force, said on Friday it had added European Union member Malta to its “grey list” of countries under increased monitoring, and kept Pakistan on the list despite progress on tackling terrorism financing.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) also said that Haiti, the Philippines and South Sudan were added to its grey list, and that Ghana had been removed after the country had made progress.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced that Pakistan will continue to remain on the watchdog’s “increased monitoring list”, also known as the grey list, till it addresses the single remaining item on the original action plan agreed to in June 2018 as well as all items on a parallel action plan handed out by the watchdog’s regional partner – the Asia Pacific Group (APG) – in 2019.

Mr Pleyer said Pakistan would need to complete the one remaining CFT-related item out of 27 by “demonstrating that TF (terror financing) investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terrorist groups”, as well as the parallel six-point action plan given by the Asia Pacific Group (APG), regional affiliate of the FATF, for enhancing international cooperation.

Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar spoke at a news conference soon after Mr Pleyer’s announcement, said Pakistan would complete within three-four months the only remaining FATF target on speedy prosecution of the UN-designated terror groups’ leaders. He said the government had set a target for itself to complete APG’s seven action points within 12 months — a target most jurisdictions achieve in two years.

Marcus Pleyer made it clear that Pakistan’s delisting from grey list would not take place until both action plans were completed and the members then came to a conclusion that systems and efforts against financial risks were sustainable.

He said the rules were very clear and equally applicable that jurisdictions under increased monitoring list had to complete all action points and fully address the risks.

Mr Pleyer said the FATF recognised Pakistan’s progress and efforts to address these CFT action plan items and encouraged it to continue to make progress to address as soon as possible the one remaining CFT-related item.

He appreciated that since February 2021, Pakistan had made progress to complete two of the three remaining action items on demonstrating that effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions are imposed for TF convictions and that Pakistan’s targeted financial sanctions regime was being used effectively to targeted terrorist assets.

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