Upcoming government need to show strong political commitment to avoid blacklisting by FATF: Shamshad

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ISLAMABAD, Jul 13 (APP):Caretaker Minister for Finance Dr Shamshad Akhtar on Friday said that Pakistan had assured the International Cooperation Review Group that the upcoming elected government would show its strong political commitment in order to avoid being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) by complying with the FATF framework and standards in the given time of maximum 15 months.
She was responding to a calling attention notice of Leader of the Opposition in Senate Sherry Rehman to draw attention of the minister towards inclusion of Pakistan in FATF’s Grey list despite the previous government’s promise of robust diplomatic efforts to avoid the same.
The minister said the Pakistan team during meetings of FATF held in Paris last months, had negotiated with the review group and succeeded in convincing to bring down the initially prepared list of 49 policy action to 27 policy actions.
“Non-compliance with FATF framework and standards, and of course international politicizing adversely resulted in a joint nomination by by USA,Germany, UK, and France to list Pakistan in Grey List,” she informed.
“When the caretaker came we received information that during the process of Asia Pacific Growth (APG), which is where Pakistan has to represent its case through international cooperation review group we heard that Pakistan was now to be blacklisted and there were official communication that Pakistan was again going to be blacklisted,” she added.
Describing reasons of blacklisting, Dr Shamshad Akhtar said grounds for Pakistan nomination for blacklisting include weakness in of supervision and enforcement of Anti Money Laundering (AML) by financial institutions, particularly the money service businesses, inadequate terrorist financing investigation and prosecutions in Pakistan, lack of financial sanctions, weaknesses in coordination between federal and provincial governments, ineffective penalties for non compliance, lack of enforcement of prohibition of funds and financial services, and weak coordination between the AML and counter financing terrorist stakeholders.
She said the upcoming government would have to take a strong perspective of this issue by following the process on a very high powered forum.
“In past, we did not have frequent high level, and high powered inclusive coordination mechanism within the country therefore high powered determination will be required on part of the upcoming elected political government,” she added.
Later responding to a query raised by Senators Kauda Babar and Dr Ashok Kumar regarding non-availability of electricity in Makran Division, Balochistan for last twelve days, Caretaker minister for energy, Syed Ali Zafar informed that electricity to the area would be restored within 24 hours.