Written by Jason Morris on Tuesday July 24, 2018
At the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary meeting in February 2018, a decision was made to add Pakistan to the FATF list of high-risk and other monitored jurisdictions, known also as the ‘grey list’, for failing to do enough to counter the financing of terrorist groups.
The FATF’s International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) identified four key areas of concern in respect of Pakistan, highlighting deficiencies in the:
In June 2018, Pakistan responded to being added to the list by committing itself to a 26-point action plan, to be implemented over a 15-month period. The plan will require the Pakistani authorities to cooperate with other countries to stem the financing to terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud-Dawah, Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Haqqani Network and the Taliban.
Pakistan will work to implement its action plan by:
Pakistan will begin implementing its action plan immediately, by methodically addressing the concerns raised. For example, by January 2019, it will identify and assess domestic and trans-national terror financing risks and improve coordination between the country’s federal and provincial authorities. Also by January, it will begin financial inquiries of terror groups and their members, looking at their activities around the collection, movement and use of funds.
Within six months it will make sure that the nature of risks of cash couriers being used for terrorist financing are properly tackled.
Within twelve months, Pakistan will look to have in place risk assessment-based guidelines that will address their inability to freeze the property of UN-designated groups, and will make sure they apply administrative sanctions against all UN terrorist groups.
By September 2019, they expect to have delivered on the completion of the action plan.
Of course, there’s a lot of work to get through in a short space of time, but it’s encouraging to see Pakistan has articulated a workable plan that will align its AML and CFT controls with FATF requirements, and which should provide some much-needed structure to a part of the world that has, historically, seen high levels of terrorist financing activity.
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