Pakistan to face monitoring by FATF's international review group

Paris [France], Feb 16 : Pakistan, which has been grey-listed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) over funding terrorism, will now have to submit its compliance report to the International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG), informed sources have told ANI.

Formed in 2007, the FATF's ICRG has analysed high-risk jurisdictions and recommended specific action to address terror financing risks emanating from them.

The global terror financing watchdog will this week, starting today, evaluate whether Pakistan has taken sufficient steps and implemented its plan of action to fight the global menace or not.

Pakistan will be submitting a report on action regarding the implementation of the watchdog's plan of action during the Paris meet.

More than 800 representatives from 205 countries and jurisdictions around the world including the IMF, UN, World Bank, and other organisations, will take part in the meeting.

The FATF's Asia-Pacific Group's meeting, which took place in Beijing last year in October, analysed Pakistan's situation from a technical point of view.

China, who took over as the chair of the inter-governmental organisation in July 2019, expressed satisfaction over the "visible progress" made by Islamabad, leading to speculations that it could be put in a "white" list from "grey" list, according to Pakistan media reports.

The FATF in 2018 placed Pakistan on the grey list and the watchdog has already granted Islamabad an extension till February 2020 during a meeting in October last year.

The body warned that Islamabad would be put on the blacklist if it did not comply with the remaining 22 out of 27 points related to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing.

This time, the watchdog will be issuing a decision on whether Pakistan has taken sufficient steps to avoid being "blacklisted." If blacklisted, Pakistan would face isolation from the international banking system, introducing stricter checks and safeguards on transactions involving the country.

The meeting will conclude on February 19. The progress of a FATF initiative to combat financial flows from the illegal wildlife trade, adopting guidance on digital identity, and developments in the financing of ISIL, Al-Qaeda, and affiliates are some of the issues to be discussed during the meeting.

Defence experts in New Delhi on Saturday noted that the recent sentencing of Jama'at-ud-Da'wah (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, just days ahead of the FATF meeting in Paris is just an eyewash to delude the international community and that the Mumbai terror attacks mastermind will be released shortly after the watchdog announces its decision.

Last year, under pressure after the FATF review, Pakistan formally banned Saeed's JuD and other associated organisations, after years of allowing them to operate freely across the country.

(ANI)

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Pakistan to face monitoring by FATF's international review group