FO: UK move to include Pak among high-risk countries not fact based

24

Hopes Britain would
review the decision


Staff Reporter 
Islamabad

Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said on Monday that the UK’s decision to include Pakistan in the list of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing High-Risk Countries was not based on facts.

In a statement issued from Islamabad, Chaudhri expressed the hope that the “UK would review its regulations in light of facts on ground and avoid politically motivated and misplaced measures.”

A day earlier, UK had added Pakistan to the list of 21 countries that were part of Schedule 3ZA (High Risk Countries) under its Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) (High-Risk Countries) Regulations 2021.

Responding to the move, Chaudhry said that “Pakistan has a robust AML [anti-money laundering]/CFT [combatting the financing of terrorism] regime in place.”

The statement added that over the last two years, Pakistan has taken “unprecedented measures through a series of legislative, institutional and administrative actions in the domain of anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism.”

These actions, which have also been reported to Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and shared with the European Union have been widely acknowledged by the international community, it said, adding that the near completion of the FATF action plan through 24 out of 27 Action Items “is a testament to Pakistan’s commitment and tangible actions in AML/CFT domain.”

Pakistan has been on the FATF’s grey list for deficiencies in its counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering regimes since June 2018.

During its last plenary session in February earlier this year, the FATF had observed that while Islamabad had made “significant progress”, there remained some “serious deficiencies” in mechanisms to plug terrorism financing.

At the same time, FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer had said that 24 of the 27 points agreed upon by Pakistan as part of its action plan had been complied with.