Pakistan submits to FATF report
Pakistan has submitted answers to the remaining 22 questions posed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), detailing the actions taken by the government to curb terrorism and money laundering after it put Islamabad on notice. The Paris-based international terror financing watchdog which kept Pakistan on the Grey List for an extended period till February 2020, had warned in October that Islamabad would be put on the Black List if it did not comply with the remaining 22 points in a list of 27. Pakistan submitted a report comprising answers to 22 questions to the FATF.
- The report details Pakistan's actions against the groups the United Nations has listed as terrorist organisations as well as sentences handed to them by the courts.
- Prepared by the representatives of the ministry of foreign affairs, interior and finance, the Pakistan Army and other departments, the report said that "common people who worked in groups the UN listed as terrorist organisations were provided alternative employment."
- The control of some 113 madrassas in Pakistan has been handed over to the federal government. These religious schools were now working under the relevant assistant commissioners, while the teachers and students in those institutions were provided a two-year budget.
- According to the report, investigations into the sponsors and facilitators funding the terrorist activities, as well as methodologies of the State Bank of Pakistan and the Federal Investigation Agency to stop terrorism-financing in future, have been explained. A process to halt hundi-hawala and currency smuggling has been set up as well.
- However, a system to regulate jewellery and real estate businesses, as well as lawyers' fees from petitioners, could not be set up.
- The FATF, consequent to Pakistan's responses, would schedule a meeting in Beijing, China, on January 21 to prepare follow-up conditions.
- However, a categorical decision to remove Pakistan from the FATF's Grey List would be taken during a February 2020 plenary review meeting in Paris, France.
- Earlier, the FATF had asked 27 questions pertaining to Pakistan's efforts to stop terrorism financing. But Islamabad managed to satisfy the FATF over just five of them.
- Pakistan was placed on the Grey List by the FATF in June last year and was given a plan of action to complete it by October 2019, or face the risk of being placed on the blacklist with Iran and North Korea.
- The FATF said Pakistan must demonstrate effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all UN 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists like Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed, Jaish-e-Mohammad founder Maulana Masood Azhar, and those acting for or on their behalf.
- The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.