Pakistan Hopes FATF Will Extend February Deadline

Pakistan has submitted a report to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on the steps it has taken to check activities of banned outfits and the seizing of their assets as it hoped that the international terror financing watchdog would extend the deadline of complying to its 27 action plans from February to June.

Pakistan was placed on the Grey List by the Paris-based watchdog 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 Black List with Iran and North Korea.

The watchdog in October retained Pakistan on its ‘Grey List’ till February next year for its failure to take adequate action against money laundering and terror financing.

Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar on Tuesday said that Pakistan has submitted the compliance report before the joint group of the FATF.

“There will be a response from them and then (there will be) face-to-face meeting,” Azhar, who is also Pakistan’s team leader on FATF, was quoted as saying by Geo TV.

Islamabad is hoping that the global terror financing watchdog would extend the current deadline of complying to FATF’s 27 action plans from February to June of next year in its upcoming plenary review meeting as the current deadline is too short, the Geo TV said.

In its October meeting, the FATF plenary noted that Pakistan addressed only five out of the 27 tasks given to it in controlling funding to terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen, responsible for a series of attacks in India.

The FATF said it strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2020. Its plenary review meeting will take place in February 2020 in Paris which will decide the fate of Pakistan.

Pakistan is expecting to get the first formal response on the report by the end of this month.

“The face to face meeting is expected to be held in Sydney in early January 2020 where the Pakistani delegation will be given the opportunity to defend its submitted compliance report,” an official said on the condition of anonymity.

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