FATF meeting
Image Credit: FATF

Paris: Pakistan has avoided blacklisting by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The global watchdog strongly urged Islamabad to complete its full action plan by February 2020, until which the country will remain on its grey list.

Should significant and sustainable progress not be made across the full range of its action plan by next Plenary, the FATF will take action, which could include the FATF calling on its members to advise their financial institutions to give special attention to business relations/transactions with Pakistan, the statement from the global watchdog said.

The note further stated, "Pakistan has only largely addressed five of the 27 action items, with varying levels of progress made on the rest of the action plan."

The FATF has also expressed serious concerns with the "overall lack of progress by Pakistan to address its Terror Financing risks, including remaining deficiencies in demonstrating a sufficient understanding of Pakistan's transnational TF risks."

The country was placed on the 'Grey List' by the watchdog in June 2018 and was given 15 months to complete the implementation of a 27-point action plan, failing which it would be placed on a list that includes countries like Iran and North Korea.

It included safeguards against money-laundering and terror-financing by banned outfits and non-government entities through banking and non-banking jurisdictions, capital markets, corporate and non-corporate sectors like chartered accountancy, financial advisory services, cost, and management accountancy firm, jewellery and similar related services.

Representatives from 206 countries and jurisdictions around the world began a meeting for the FATF Week in the French capital earlier this week. Six days of meeting were focused on disrupting financial flows linked to crime and terrorism and discuss ways to contribute to global security.

The crucial session was attended by a delegation of Pakistani officials headed by Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar.