Monday, Sep 26, 2022

Pakistan Could Face Economic Sanctions For Ignoring FATF Recommendations

Finance Secretary Arif Ahmed Khan said Pakistan had to take strict measures to implement the FATF recommendations.

Pakistan could face economic sanctions over non-implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) warning to Islamabad to curb terror financing in the wake of the Pulwama attack for which Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) had claimed responsibility.

Talking to reporters after attending a meeting of a sub-committee of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Islamabad, Finance Secretary Arif Ahmed Khan said Pakistan had to take strict measures to implement the FATF recommendations, Dawn reported.

He said the country had to proceed against the banned outfits in the light of FATF recommendations. He expressed apprehensions that Pakistan might face economic sanctions if the FATF recommendations were ignored and not implemented.

The Financial Monitoring Unit had issued 8,707 suspicious transaction reports (STRs) in 2018, as compared to 5,548 STRs issued in 2017 in Pakistan. Some 1,136 STRs were issued in January and February alone this year.

The FATF noted that Pakistan did not “demonstrate a proper understanding of the terror financing risks…”

If Pakistan doesn’t comply with the objectives laid out by the FATF and curb funding for terrorism, it may be put on the blacklist by FATF by September this year.

The International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) of the FATF that reviewed Pakistan’s action plan was dissatisfied with the progress on milestones set for January 2019.

It expressed concern over Pakistan's inability to demonstrate why they considered eight proscribed entities to be low risk as opposed to the high-risk view of the Asia Pacific Group (APG) and ICRG.

The FATF urged “Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan, particularly those with timelines of May 2019” to address strategic deficiencies.

The FATF will undertake the next review of Pakistan’s progress in June 2019, which will be preceded by a face-to-face meeting with the Joint Group in May.

India has raised the issue of Pakistan harbouring terrorism on its soil on many forums, and the international community has backed India following the February 14 terrorist attack in Pulwama, in which over 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

The US has told Pakistan to stop supporting and providing shelter to terror groups.

Earlier on February 21, the Pakistan government had declared 69 terrorist organisations including the JuD and FIF as banned, amid intense global pressure to rein in the militant groups.

 (With agency inputs)