Pakistan attempted to claim victory despite being retained on the grey list of FATF, with a minister claiming that the terror financing watchdog has noted its “impressive progress.”
The Financial Action Task Force on Friday decided to keep Pakistan on its grey list for four more months, noting that the country could not fully implement a 27-point action plan by the June 2020 deadline given to it.
But industries minister Hammad Azhar claimed that Pakistan has achieved “impressive progress” on the FATF action plan. He said that while 21 out of 27 action items now stand cleared, the remaining six are rated as partially complete.
Instead of the current action plan, discussions remained focused on how Pakistan can be facilitated “for our upcoming 2nd evaluation, due mid next year,” Azhar tweeted.
Local media quoted a statement by FATF saying it “takes note of the significant progress made on a number of action plan items and to date, Pakistan has made progress across all action plan items and has now largely addressed 21 of the 27 action items.”
But it said that “As all action plan deadlines have expired, the FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2021”.
The statement added that Pakistan needed to “address its strategic deficiencies”. The deficiencies include demonstrating that law enforcement agencies are identifying and investigating the widest range of terror financing activity, which target designated persons and entities, and those who act on the behalf or direction of the designated persons or entities. It also includes demonstrating that terror financing prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions.
Also included is the need for demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all 1,267 and 1,373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf. This means preventing the raising and moving of funds, including in relation to non-profit organisations, identifying and freezing assets and prohibiting access to funds and financial services.
It also includes demonstrating enforcement against violation of terror financing sanctions, including in relation to NPOs, of administrative and criminal penalties and provincial and federal authorities cooperating on enforcement cases.