- This report is prepared on the basis of performance up to October 2018, so it does not mention the many steps Pakistan has taken in the last year.
- According to the report, there are nine suggestions that Pakistan has effectively implemented.
- However, there are 26 proposals that have been partially worked out, and only one sector in which Pakistan has met its targets.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan had made an unprecedented effort to implement guidelines and suggestions from the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, and hoped that Pakistan would be satisfied with the FATF by presenting its stand at the next meeting. It is to be noted that earlier, the report of the FATF, and sub-organization Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), was issued by Pakistan to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. The actions taken have been reviewed.
This report is prepared on the basis of performance up to October 2018, so it does not mention the many steps Pakistan has taken in the last year. The report states that Pakistan has significantly improved the system of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.
The report was released a week before the FATF Review Meeting, to be held in the French capital of Paris from October 13-18, to determine whether Pakistan will remain on the ‘gray list’ or blacklist. The APG, a 41-member organization, had lowered Pakistan’s status to the ‘better review’ list by October 2018 due to technical flaws in meeting the general global financial standards.
What is APG?
It is a regional group of the Financial Action Task Force, FATF. Regional groups are formed to review the implementation of their proposals at the FATF. They take a detailed look at their rules and regulations, and a report is prepared, along with the country’s rankings, explaining where the deficiencies are and what further needs to be done.
What are the revelations in this APG report?
According to the report, Pakistan did not implement 4 of APG’s 40 proposals to prevent or counter money laundering and terrorist financing until October 2018. The four proposals that have not been implemented include information on legal arrangements, mutual legal assistance, non-financial business and career legislation, and supervision and information about their clients.
According to the report, there are nine suggestions that Pakistan has effectively implemented. These include coordination and organizing at the national level to prevent anti-money laundering and terrorist financing; money laundering offenses; criminalizing terrorist financing; setting records; banking related links; seizure of funds or accounts; wire transfers; international carriers, and criminal offenses agreements. All these are suggestions that Pakistan has met effectively.
However, there are 26 proposals that have been partially worked out, and only one sector in which Pakistan has met its targets. This relates to the rules for keeping the information of financial institutions confidential. Experts say partial implementation means legislation has been put in place with these proposals, which is the most important step, and proves that the state is serious. Therefore, partial implementation is essentially a positive development. Experts say partial implementation is not a failure.
Experts in Pakistan have expressed various views on the issue, but they seem to agree that Pakistan has done a lot of work over the past year, which will be discussed at the upcoming FATF meeting. There will be debate and it is likely that bad news will not come for Pakistan. Speaking to reporters, economic affairs expert Sohail Ahmed says that for the first time, people have come to know that 36 of the forty have fully or partially implemented by Pakistan. Although the government has been claiming that there are four left.
Ahmed believes that this report will reduce the uncertainty situation since it does not mention the steps of the previous year, so it can be said that the four proposals which Pakistan did not implement till October 2018. What was, they must have worked this year. Therefore, positive hope can be expected from the forthcoming meeting that Pakistan will not be blacklisted.