ISLAMABAD: The global watchdog body on terror financing has formally included Pakistan on Friday on its grey list by setting new Herculean tasks ahead for Islamabad to implement in coming months.
Accepting Pakistan plan in a week-long meeting, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in its Paris meeting decided that Pakistan in June 2018 made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and its Asia Pacific Group to strengthen its AML/CFT regime and to address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies.
Pakistan delegation headed by its interim Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar after attending five-day meetings in Paris reached Islamabad. “We have to implement the tough plan in a limited time period and if we convince FATF members, Islamabad could get waiver in February 2019 meeting from this grey list otherwise we would be blacklisted in case we fail to implement the plan,” a member of Pakistan delegation told Geo News from Paris.
Ten points have been negotiated with FATF, added the official who also attended these meetings. Pakistan now has joined club of Sri Lanka and Tunisia with around half a dozen countries listed to FATF grey list and failed to take strict measures to choke terror financing. “Pakistan will work to implement its action plan to accomplish many objectives demonstrating that TF risks are properly identified, assessed, and that supervision is applied on a risk-sensitive basis,” reads FATF official statement. Pakistan has to demonstrate that remedial actions and sanctions are applied in cases of AML/CFT violations, and that these actions have an effect on AML/CFT compliance by financial institutions demonstrating that competent authorities are cooperating and taking action to identify and take enforcement action against illegal money or value transfer services,” added the statement issued after FATF meetings on Friday.
Islamabad authorities also have to demonstrate that authorities are identifying cash couriers and enforcing controls on illicit movement of currency and understanding the risk of cash couriers being used for terror financing, the official statement reads.
Pakistan would improve inter-agency coordination including between provincial and federal authorities on combating TF risks; by demonstrating that law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are identifying and investigating the widest range of TF activities and that TF investigations and prosecutions target designated persons and entities, and persons and entities acting on behalf or on the direction of the designated persons or entities.
“Pakistan has to demonstrate that TF prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions and enhancing the capacity and support for prosecutors and the judiciary demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions (supported by a comprehensive legal obligation) against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf, including preventing the raising and moving of funds, identifying and freezing assets (movable and immovable), and prohibiting access to funds and financial services.” In its last two points, FATF notes stated that Pakistan would be demonstrating enforcement against TFS violations including administrative and criminal penalties and provincial and federal authorities cooperating on enforcement cases demonstrating that facilities and services owned or controlled by designated persons are deprived of their resources and the usage of the resources.
By: Zahid Gishkori
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