ISLAMABAD, Feb 25 (APP): The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Thursday appreciated Pakistan for the significant progress made on the entire action plan.

“To date, Pakistan has made progress across all action plan items and has now largely addressed 24 of the 27 action items,” FATF stated in its plenary meeting held on February 25.

The FATF also acknowledged the continued high-level political commitment of Pakistan to combat terrorist financing which, according to the FATF statement, has led to significant progress across comprehensive countering financing of terrorism plan.

Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Muhammad Hammad Azhar said that Pakistan had completed almost 90% of its current Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action-plan with 24 out of 27 items rated as largely addressed and the remaining 3 items partially addressed.

In a tweet, the federal minister, who was leading the Pakistani team at the FATF plenary said that FATF has acknowledged Pakistan’s high-level political commitment since 2018 that led to significant progress.

“Pakistan has completed almost 90% of its current FATF action-plan with 24 out of 27 items rated as ‘largely addressed’ and remaining 3 items ‘partially addressed’. FATF has acknowledged Pak’s high-level political commitment since 2018 that led to significant progress,” he tweeted.

Pakistan has undertaken enormous work to strengthen its Anti-Money Laundering / Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime and address the strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies.

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The Plenary meetings of FATF were held virtually from February 22 to 25,2021, during which its members discussed a range of topics relating to Pakistan’s progress.

Pakistan’s delegation in the FATF Plenary was led by Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Chairman FATF Coordination Committee / Federal Minister for Industries and Production, and attended by senior officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU), National FATF Secretariat and other key stakeholders, according to a press statement issued by Finance Ministry.

In addition to the acknowledgment by FATF in its plenary statement that Pakistan has made significant progress on the entire action plan by addressing 24 out of the 27 items in the action plan, Pakistan has also made notable progress in the remaining 3 action items which also stand partially addressed.

As of now, all the 10 action items pertaining to the financial sector and border controls have been addressed.

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In relation to Terrorism Financing (TF) investigations and prosecutions, 6 of the 8 action items have been addressed, whereas, for targeted financial sanctions, 8 of the 9 action items also stand addressed. The progress on the remaining 3 action items is well underway with significant progress made so far.

FATF - Jurisdictions under monitoring
FATF – Jurisdictions under monitoring

The Ministry of Finance in a statement reaffirmed its commitment to continue strengthening the AML/CFT regime in line with the global standards.

Hammad Azhar said “It was also noted by FATF member countries that Pakistan is subject to perhaps the most challenging & comprehensive action plan ever given to any country. We are also subject to dual evaluation processes of FATF with differing timelines.”

The federal minister said Pakistan was committed to complying with both FATF evaluation processes and commended the hard work done by dedicated teams in multiple govt departments at Federal and provincial tiers.

“Pakistan remains committed to complying with both FATF evaluation processes and I would like to commend the hard work done by dedicated teams in multiple govt depts at Federal & provincial tiers,” he tweeted.

The federal minister is likely to hold a press briefing on Friday at 11.30 am on this issue tomorrow.