ISLAMABAD: The Asia-Pacific Joint Group (APG) will submit its assessment of Pakistan’s progress in strengthening its anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism framework next month.
A brief statement issued by the Ministry of Finance after meetings with the APG in Bangkok, stated, “The Pakistan delegation effectively presented Pakistan’s progress on each of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Action Plan items and provided additional information/clarification to the AP-Joint Group.”
The statement stated, the APG, as per the FATF’s procedures, would present its report in the FATF Plenary and Working Group meetings scheduled for 13th to 18th October in Paris, France.
According to sources, three possibilities exist on FATF front, Pakistan would be excluded from the grey list, secondly, the Indian lobby would trying to place Islamabad on a blacklist and thirdly there are chances that we may continue on the grey list for an extended period of 6 to 12 months.
However, the exact outcome will be known on the eve of the meeting next month but it would be a political decision. Now Pakistan must undertake hectic lobbying to win the support of China, Malaysia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and others to avoid facing any dire negative consequences at FATF next month.
Pakistan had submitted its compliance report on a 27-point action plan last month after which the recent meeting held in Bangkok answered different queries raised by Asia Pacific Group in a face-to-face meeting.
Being on the blacklist means its banking system will be regarded as one with poor controls over AML and CFT standards forget bringing PayPal to Pakistan. The expatriates will find it difficult to send remittances and the government, too, will struggle to raise funds from international markets.
Based out of Paris, the FATF is an inter-governmental body that combats money laundering, terrorist financing and threats to the international financial system. It put Pakistan on its grey list in June 2017 because of deficiencies in the country’s anti-money laundering and countering of terror financing regulations.
Pakistan’s name in the grey list means that Pakistan would be required to submit quarterly follow-up reports to the Asia Pacific Group (APG).