ISLAMABAD   -   Pakistan has reaffirmed its commitment to implement Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Action Plan and upgrade from the grey list to the white list of FATF in 2020.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar said that Pakistan had targeted to complete all items on its FATF action plan and upgrade from the grey list to the white list of FATF in 2020. “Pakistan has targeted to complete all items on its FATF action plan and InshAllah upgrade from the grey list to the white list of FATF in 2020,” he tweeted.

“A coordinated effort from all regulators, LEAs (law enforcement agencies), federal and provincial govt depts is already underway in this regard,” he said on Twitter.

He further said that FATF had noted progress already achieved by Pakistan during the last one year and especially in the last 4 months.

“However, more work needs to be done as our action plan is perhaps the most ambitious and challenging ever handed out to any country,” he added.

Hammad Azhar had headed the Pakistani delegation in the FATF Plenary meeting that was held in Paris from 13-18 October.

The FATF meeting considered Pakistan’s progress report on the FATF Action Plan and Pakistan’s APG Mutual Evaluation report (MER).

Pakistan’s delegation reaffirmed its political commitment to fully implement the Action Plan.

The plenary meeting decided to maintain status quo on the FATF Action Plan and allow the usual 12 months observation period for the APG MER.

The FATF had expressed serious concerns with the overall lack of progress by Pakistan to address its terror financing (TR) risks, including remaining deficiencies in demonstrating a sufficient understanding of Pakistan’s transnational TF risks, and more broadly, Pakistan’s failure to complete its action plan in line with the agreed timelines and in light of the TF risks emanating from the jurisdiction.

To date, Pakistan has only largely addressed five of 27 action items, with varying levels of progress made on the rest of the action plan. The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2020.

It is worth mentioning here that in 2012, Pakistan was placed on the grey list and remained till 2015.

The country was put on the list again on June 29, 2018. Pakistan was given 15 months for implementation of the 27-point action plan, with a warning that in case of failure the country would be added to the blacklist.

The delegation had also held sideline meetings with various delegations and briefed them about the progress made by Pakistan on the FATF Action Plan and steps taken for strengthening its Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financial Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework.