ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance on Friday rejected Indian media reports stating that Pakistan has been blacklisted by the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international anti-money laundering watchdog.
“Media reports circulating about Pakistan being blacklisted by APG are incorrect and baseless,” a spokesperson from the ministry said.
The APG, in its meeting last week, adopted Pakistan’s third mutual evaluation report.
A statement by the APG read, “during the week, APG members adopted six significant mutual reports. The reports – for China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Pakistan, the 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.”
A press release by Finance Ministry stated that the money laundering watchdog adopted Pakistan’s third mutual evaluation report which covered the period from February to October 2018 and identified a number of areas where further actions were required to strengthen the AML/CFT framework.
However, the report did not cover areas in which the Pakistani government made substantial progress since October 2018.
The Pakistan delegation to the meeting was headed by State Bank Governor Dr. Reza Baqir. During the discussion, the delegation welcomed engagement with the international community in its efforts to counter terrorism and money laundering.
The delegation briefed APG members on the steps taken in recent times for improving its anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism framework as well as the actions for ensuring effective implementation of the FATF Action Plan.
The Pakistan delegation also held a number of bilateral meetings with key delegations to brief them on recent progress by Pakistan in implementing the FATF Action Plan.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan is a member of the APG since 2000. APG is a regional body of FATF and requires its members to undergo mutual evaluation on the compliance of its AML/CFT framework with FATF recommendations.
During the meetings, the financial monitoring unit (FMU) also signed an MoU with China’s Anti Money Laundering Monitoring and Analysis Centre on the exchange of financial intelligence.