Pakistan expresses serious concerns over FATF watchlist ‘nomination’

1222
Foreign Office

ISLAMABAD: Responding to the issue of nomination in terror financing watchlist backed by the United States (US), the Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) said that they have serious concerns over the matter.
FO spokesperson Mohammad Faisal acknowledged that both US and the United Kingdom (UK) jointly submitted a letter to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to nominate Pakistan in the so-called “Grey List”.
He said, “Pakistan has serious concerns over and objections to the introduction of this new “nomination” procedure which is unprecedented and in clear violation of established rules/practices of FATF. Most of the concerns raised by the US side regarding deficiencies in our CFT/AML regime had already been addressed in 2015 when Pakistan got an exit from the “grey list”.”
Recalling the matter, he reminded that Pakistan was de-listed from FATF s grey list in 2015 after strenuous efforts, the implementation of this Action Plan. “This exit was an acknowledgment of the robustness of Pakistan s CFT/AML regime and well in line with international standards,” he added.
He told that the outcome of the ICRG/FATF meeting in Paris is awaited, pointing out that the reports of placement in the terror financing watchlist are unconfirmed until the formal announcement. Meanwhile, Pakistan has agreed to implement FAFT s Action Plan, Faisal told.
Talking about the initiatives taken to counter the terror financing and money laundering in the country, it was told that “State Bank of Pakistan introduced a comprehensive set of new rules and guidelines on CFT/AML. Stand alone legislation on Money Laundering was also enacted by the Parliament to deal with AML issues. Moreover, an operationally independent and administrative Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) was established under the AML law with the sole mandate of receiving, analyzing and disseminating Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs).”
The bill to nominate Pakistan in FATF list has also been supported by France and Germany.
The global money-laundering watchdog has decided to place Pakistan back on its terrorist financing watchlist, in a likely blow to both Pakistan’s economy and its strained relations with the United States. Pakistan will be included in the list in June this year, sources told.
On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif tweeted that Pakistan had received a 3-month reprieve, adding that it was “grateful to friends who helped”.

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