By: Maemuna Sadaf
The recent meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was held in Paris, France. The members of the committee recognized Pakistan’s effort to improve Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) and money laundering. Another six months were provided to the country for further actions to control CTF. Pakistan authorities have varying levels of understanding of the country’s Money Laundering ML and Terrorism Financing TF risks. For ML, there is no clear understanding among competent authorities, including Law Enforcement Agencies LEAs, of Pakistan’s ML risk. Hence, FATF kept Pakistan, in the grey list. After these months Pakistan would have to prove its self as a progressive nation not supporting any type of terrorism. The national TF investigation agency (Federal Investigation Agency – FIA) has a low level of TF risk understanding, while provincial police TF investigation departments (counterterrorism departments – CTDs) have a better understanding of those risks within their provinces. Punjab CTD, in particular, has a reasonable understanding of TF risks within Punjab province.
Looking back to previous years, Pakistan was placed in FATF in June 2018, the watchdogs of financial disbursement of aids and funds. Pakistan was given a plan to control CTF and money laundry to be completed by Oct 2019. It was also facing the risk to be placed on the Blacklist along with Iran and North Korea. The countries in the FATF blacklist face strong financial restrictions. India has tried its level best to propagate against Pakistan, to enlist Pakistan in the grey list whereas friendly countries have supported it.
Contrary to Indian media´s reports the Chinese foreign ministry´s spokesperson echoed that China´s stance regarding Pakistan will remain the same. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh Pakistan minister said, “China and other brotherly countries support Pakistan throughout the process of FATF, guiding the country to improve its frameworks”. Islamabad has given a list of actions if it is wished to get out of the FATF grey list. Given the deadlines till June 2020, if Pakistan fails to comply with the international standards set for CTF, strong action will be taken against it. Although, the task force recognized Pakistan’s immense actions the standard are not met yet. Hopefully, Pakistan will be able to meet these standards in the coming year.
Discussing more! Bringing law and order situation under control and eradicating terrorism from the country, Pakistan Army has played a keen role. All PSL matches are held in Pakistan whereas Pakistan is termed as the safest and coolest place to visit in the year 2020. The visit of Turkish president “Recep Tayyab Erudegon” followed by United Nations Sectary General Antonio Guterres to Pakistan has added value in bringing Pakistan on the road of development. The situations are getting better and it is hoped that Pakistan will be eliminated from the grey list.
Concluding more! Combined efforts of the army and other institution have worked in bringing out the country from the worsening law and order situation. The strong actions in this regard are continuous. It is hoped that Pakistan, as directed, will eliminate terror financing and money laundering. Pakistan has a strong urge to meet the international standards set by FATF. In this regard, strong actions are taken. To eradicate and control CTF, Hafiz Saeed has sentenced the imprisonment of years. The cases on politicians against money laundering are also in process and will help Islamabad to control money laundering.