Tuesday: The Asia-Pacific Group (APG) of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Money Laundering released first Follow-Up Report (FUR) is based on data compiled until February 2020. In the months since, Pakistan has made major progress that is not reflected within the APG report.

The first FUR on Mutual Evaluation of Pakistan, released by APG in September, showed Pakistan improving its full compliance on two of the 40 FATF recommendations on the effectiveness of anti-money laundering and combating financing terror (AML/CFT) system. It concluded: “Pakistan will remain in enhanced (expedited) follow up, and will continue to report back to the APG on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.”

The majority of FATF-related legislation occurred in Pakistan in recent months. The country has made progress on 27 action points, including amendment to 15 laws according to recommendations by the FATF and APG. These latest legislative measures are not mentioned within the FUR currently under discussion.

Recent legislative action by Pakistan includes the passing of three important bills in the National Assembly last month: the Anti-Money Laundering (Second Amendment) Bill 2020, the Anti-Terrorism (Third Amendment) Bill 2020, and the Islamabad Capital Territory Waqf Properties Bill 2020.

Given the recent progress made by Pakistan, the APG’s first Follow-Up Report is likely to have negligible bearings on the upcoming assessment of whether Pakistan should be retained or moved out of the grey list. This assessment will consider the report of the ICRG meetings, which are commencing now. Their report will be presented in the FATF plenary meeting scheduled across 21st, 22nd and 23rd October. Ahead of the assessment later this month, Pakistani officials remain optimistic about a positive review.

The writer is a member of staff
The reporting desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk

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