Monday, August 8, 2022

FATF October plenary ends today, Pakistan’s fate to be decided

Financial Action Task Force(FATF) plenary is taking place under the German Presidency of Dr Marcus Pleyer, and delegates representing 205 members of the Global Network and observer organisations, including the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, are part of the hybrid meeting of the FATF Plenary. Analysts and reports suggest that Pakistan will remain greylisted till the next session of FATF in 2022 as it has failed to curb terror financing of UN proscribed terrorists living in Pakistan. In February when Pakistan was retained on FATF ‘grey list’ for failing to check money laundering, leading to terror financing, the watchdog asked Islamabad to investigate and prosecute senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terror groups and address its strategically important deficiencies.

FATF’s three-day session will be concluding today and it is expected that the watchdog may inform that Pakistan is still short of meeting the FATF criterion. Pakistan was given a plan of action and a deadline to complete it by October 2019. China, Turkey and Malaysia have been helping Pakistan at FATF to prevent being blacklisted. Cash-strapped Pakistan is finding it difficult to get financial assistance from institutions like International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and Asia Development Bank. Recently, the IMF-Pakistan talks to get a 1 billion dollar loan also failed.

The involvement of Pakistan secret service ISI in overthrowing the democratic government in Afghanistan and its closeness with the Taliban and Haqqani network is also closely watched by the international community Recent targeted attacks by Pakistan-backed terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir exposes the ongoing link and support to state-sponsored terrorism by Pak

According to a statement, FATF will finalise key reports, including the revised guidance on virtual assets and their service providers and discuss the next steps to strengthen its standards on transparency of beneficial ownership. Delegates will also discuss the outcomes of the FATF’s survey to identify areas where divergent anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing rules or their implementation cause friction for cross-border payments. FATF is leading work on this aspect of the G20’s priority to improve cross-border payments.
The FATF will also update its statements identifying jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The outcomes of the FATF Plenary will be published on Thursday, October 21.

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