More trouble for Pakistan: Rated very poor by FATF sub-group

Official sources here said the group put Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List , which borders blacklisting, after finding that it had failed compliance on 32 of the 40 parameters set by APG to counter terror funding and money laundering. (Representational Image)

In what could spell trouble for Pakistan when it faces Financial Action Task Force (FATF) scrutiny in October, the Asia Pacific Group (APG) has put the country in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List , rating its performance in countering terror funding as very poor.

The APG, an affiliate of the FATF, concluded its 22nd annual meeting in Canberra, Australia, on Friday. Official sources here said the group put Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List , which borders blacklisting, after finding that it had failed compliance on 32 of the 40 parameters set by APG to counter terror funding and money laundering.

India is a member of both the APG and FATF consultations and has been pushing for Pakistan s blacklisting by the FATF. Pakistan s multi-ministerial team at the APG meeting was led by the State Bank of Pakistan governor.

Actions demanding a review of Pakistan s compliance record were pushed by the US, UK, Germany and France. Despite its efforts, Pakistan could not convince the 41-member APG plenary to upgrade it on any parameter, an official said.

Of the 11 effectiveness parameters of terror financing and money laundering, Pakistan was adjudged low on 10. Pakistan now has to focus on avoiding the FATF blacklist in October, when the 15-month timeline on the FATF s 27-point action plan ends.

Explained: Why FATF blacklisting now seems increasingly likely

According to APG, over 520 senior delegates from 46 jurisdictions and 13 international organisations came together in Canberra in August 18- 23 for the APG s 22nd annual meeting and annual technical assistance forum. The event was chaired by Deputy Commissioner Leanne Close of the Australian Federal Police and Abu Hena Mohd Razee Hassan, Head of the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit.

During the week, APG members adopted six significant mutual evaluation reports. The reports for China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Philippines and Solomon Islands were analysed and discussed in detail over two full days and will now be subject to post-plenary quality and consistency review prior to publication. Final publication on the APG website is expected in early October 2019. The APG also adopted a number of follow-up reports for APG members and for joint APG/ FATF members and also agreed on revised evaluation procedures for the coming year reflecting recent changes to global procedures, an APG statement said.

Pakistan has been under the FATF radar for its complicity towards terror groups LeT, JeM and others. It is almost certain that Pakistan will remain in the FATF greylist and there is every possibility that it may be downgraded into the FATF blacklist at its next plenary to be held in Paris in October, officials said.

Pakistan s continuance in the greylist means its downgrading by the IMF, World Bank, ADB, EU and also a reduction in risk rating by Moody s, S&P and Fitch. This will add to the financial problems of Pakistan, which is seeking aid from all possible international avenues.