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Indian efforts fail as FATF keeps Pakistan on grey list until February 2021

Indian efforts fail as FATF keeps Pakistan on grey list until February 2021
October 23, 2020

ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Indian efforts to place Pakistan on black list failed after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided to keep Pakistan on the grey list until February 2021.

This was announced by FATF President Marcus Pleyer during a virtual press conference after the body's three-day plenary session on Friday.

To a question, Pleyer said that the FATF members had decided by consensus that Pakistan needed to work on the six outstanding items before the body would consider paying an 'on-site visit' to review Pakistan's progress on the ground.

Answering another question, he said that after the on-site visit by an assessment team, the FATF would review Pakistan's case in its plenary meeting and decide if the country should be removed from the 'grey list'. He pointed out that there was another process going in on in the Asian Pacific Group where Pakistan's case is being evaluated.

After the FATF decision, Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar said that Pakistan had "achieved impressive progress" and congratulated federal and provincial teams "who have worked day and night even during the pandemic to ensure this turn around".

The minister said that due to Pakistan's progress FATF had "acknowledged that any blacklisting is off the table now".

Pakistan has been on the FATF’s grey list since June 2018. The grey list comprises countries being monitored by the watchdog.

Earlier in a statement issued after the plenary session, the FATF said: "To date, Pakistan has made progress across all action plan items and has now largely addressed 21 of the 27 action items. 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 work on four areas to "address its strategic deficiencies". These include:

  • demonstrating that law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are identifying and investigating the widest range of terror financing activity, which target designated persons and entities, and those who act on the behalf/direction of the designated persons or entities
  • demonstrating that terror financing prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions
  • demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf; 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
  • 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,