PARIS: Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global money-laundering watchdog, did not place Pakistan back on terrorist financing watchlist as reported by a section of Indian and international media, a public statement detailing the outcome of the body’s plenary meeting link revealed.
As part of its on-going review of compliance with the AML/CFT (countering money laundering and combating financing for terrorism) standards, the FATF identifies jurisdictions that have strategic AML/CFT deficiencies and according to reports in Indian media, a decision had been made to include Pakistan in the list.
But the list of jurisdictions identified to have strategic AML/CFT deficiencies does not include Pakistan and instead lists Ethiopia, Iraq, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu and Yemen.
Pakistan is not included in the FATF counter terrorism financial watchlist. US and Allies have failed to put Pakistan on the watchlist. Contrary to speculations, Pakistan doesn’t feature on the watchlist of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global money-laundering watchdog.
Earlier in the day, there were speculations that FATF has placed Pakistan back on its terrorist financing watchlist.However, FATF has finally announced outcome after a week-long session concluded in Paris today.
The outcome, announced on FATF’s official website, doesn’t carry Pakistan’s names.Pakistan was previously on the FATF watchlist from 2012 to 2015.
FATF said on Friday that it will continue to focus its efforts on ensuring that its standards provide strong and powerful tools to enable countries to protect the integrity of the financial system and contribute to safety and security.After the FATF plenary meeting held in Paris (21-23 February 2018), it said, "In February 2016, following the terrorist attacks in Paris, the FATF had adopted a consolidated strategy to combat terrorist financing and an operational plan to focus its work in four key areas.
Since then, the FATF has intensified its action to identify new and developing terrorist financing threats, strengthen or refine its standards accordingly and assess whether countries have implemented sound and effective measures to detect, prevent and punish cases of abuse of the financial system in support of terrorism. The FATF has achieved significant results in the four key areas identified in the 2016 operational plan."It added, "To further enhance the international fight against terrorist financing, the Plenary has adopted a new operational plan of action.
This operational plan is a living document that provides a framework for a flexible and dynamic response to terrorist financing threats. It will build on existing results and focus on new areas which will increase understanding of terrorist financing risks and the effectiveness of measures to address these risks, while also being flexible to address the continuous evolution of this threat."As per the official statement, the main issues dealt with by the plenary were:- Combatting terrorist financing, including the adoption of a new counter-terrorist financing operational plan and a statement on the actions taken under the 2016 counter-terrorist financing strategy.- Adoption of a report to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.- Updated FATF Guidance on Counter Proliferation Financing.- Amendments to Recommendation 2 on national cooperation and coordination.-
Discussion of the mutual evaluation report of Iceland.- Follow-up reports for the mutual evaluations of Spain and Norway where both countries sought technical compliance re-ratings.- Brazil’s progress in addressing the deficiencies identified in its mutual evaluation report since it agreed to an action plan in November 2017.-
Two public documents identifying jurisdictions that may pose a risk to the international financial system - Jurisdictions with strategic anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) deficiencies for which a call for action applies and jurisdictions with strategic AML/CFT deficiencies for which they have developed an action plan with the FATF .- Monitoring Iran’s actions to address deficiencies in its AML/CFT system.- AML/CFT improvements in Bosnia and Herzegovina.- Revisions on information sharing to the FATF Methodology.- Improving the understanding of virtual currencies risks.- Improving the effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System - FATF global engagement with judges and prosecutors.