Pakistan submits initial draft report to FATF

By Mehtab Haider

According to top official sources Pakistan would share its updated version of progress report to the FATF review group in first week of September.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has submitted its initial draft report to the joint group of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) showing progress and compliance of remaining 13 points out of 27 action points.
It is hoped that Islamabad would get the ‘largely compliant’ status on 11 action points out of remaining 13 points under the FATF review in its plenary meeting expected to be held in October 2020, Federal Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar, who is also in charge of FATF issues, told The News Monday evening.
However, top official sources said Pakistan would share its updated version of progress report to the FATF review group in first week of September 2020. The first draft was dispatched to the FATF on August 6. The government got approval of FATF legislation bills from the Parliament, demonstrating its political will to deliver fully on the watchdog requirements.
“Then a face to face virtual meeting of FATF review group is scheduled to take place from September 14 to 21 where Pakistani authorities will be given an opportunity to defend their position with full force,” said a top official.
He said the FATF plenary meeting would take place in October 2020 where it would be decided whether to keep Pakistan in the grey list or graduate from the grey list after completing compliance on majority of 27 point action plan.
However, when Hammad Azhar was contacted for comments, he said Pakistan was under evaluation on two accounts one of which was the FATF’s joint working group where Islamabad had to comply with 27 points action plan.
So far, Islamabad has been found largely compliant on 14 points, while the government submitted its first draft report on remaining 13 points. The updated report, he said, would be submitted probably in the first week of September 2020 before holding face to face meeting. Then the plenary meeting would be held in October 2020, he added.
He expressed hope that Pakistan would be declared largely compliant at least on 11 action points. He said Pakistan would have to evaluate simultaneously on account of Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) by Asia Pacific Group (APG). Although, there has been no fixed deadline, it was expected anytime by the end of current year or by the start of next year 2021.
It is relevant to mention that the FATF had placed Pakistan in the grey list in June 2018 and asked for compliance of 27 action plan to come out from the scrutiny list until Sept 2019. Pakistan has so far been given three times extension of three months, every time to comply with 27 action points.
Out of 27 points, the FATF had declared Pakistan fully compliant on 14 points and now there is the deadline of October 2020 for complying with the remaining 13 points.

Published in the news, August 18, 2020