Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan

In a much needed breather for Pakistan, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has extended the deadline for the country till the next plenary meeting, urging Islamabad to ensure compliance of 27-point action plan.

The extension of the review of Pakistan’s progress to counter money-laundering and terror financing comes due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, which made it almost impossible for assessed jurisdiction and assessors alike to conduct on-site visits and in-person meetings.

“The gravity of the COVID-19 situation globally and the consequent COVID-19 related measures that countries have adopted, such as confinement and travel restrictions, are making it impossible to assessors to conduct on-site and in-person processes. The FATF acknowledges these severe challenges that countries face at this difficult time”, an FATF statement said.

“The FATF Plenary has therefore agreed to temporarily postpone all remaining FATF mutual evaluations and follow-up deadlines.”

The next plenary meeting will be held after four months in October.

The Pakistan government is yet to pass amendments into its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Foreign Exchange Regulation laws from Parliament for complying with the FATF conditions.

Pakistan is also yet to incorporate amendments related to Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), which would ensure recorded and presentable steps taken to satisfy FATF on its progress.

As per government sources, “work is being done to being the required changes into different laws and the pending legislation bills vigorously”.

The FATF had placed Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018, placing at least 27 conditions for compliance review on September 2019.

Since then, Pakistan has been given extensions at least thrice of three months each as Islamabad failed to comply with the conditions, required to ensure its name is removed from the grey list.

As per latest updates on Pakistan’s compliance, only 14 points out of the 27 point action plan have been fully complied while remaining 13 points are still pending that need compliance done within the latest extension of three months.

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