Hamad Azhar says ‘unprecedented’ as Pakistan complies with most FATF directives

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ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has achieved a compliant rating in 31 out of 40 Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations, confirmed the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) in its second follow-up report (FUR).

Pakistan’s FUR was prepared in accordance with the APG Third Round Mutual Evaluation Procedures 2021. The FUR was considered by the APG Mutual Evaluation Committee on 29 April, before being adopted by APG members without objection on 7 May 2021.

This FUR analyses the progress of Pakistan in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its MER.

Following the report, Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar shared a couple of tweets, stating that: “Pak has achieved compliant rating in 31 out of 40 FATF recommendations (MER technical compliance)”.

“This is the parallel scrutiny being undertaken at FATF besides our current action plan,” he said, adding” “Upgrade of 20 criteria in less than 2 years is unprecedented in FATF history for any country”.

The minister added that the outcome is a result of major legal reforms both at federal and provincial levels.

“It is also due to the untiring efforts of the entire FATF team (20 ministries plus organisations),” he concluded.

A statement issued by the finance ministry said, “These results prove the sincerity along with resolve of the Government in complying with FATF requirements”.

These results are also a manifestation of the irreversibility and sustainability of the complete process in bringing Pakistan at par with Global AML/CFT standards. These results are manifestation of a whole of government approach adopted to achieve the same.

An upgrade of 21 Recommendations within this short period of time remains unprecedented in FATF history.

FATF’s Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) of jurisdictions is assessed in two domains i.e., Technical Compliance/Legal Instruments (40 FATF Recommendations) and Demonstration of Effectiveness (11 Immediate Outcomes).

Pakistan’s MER was adopted in October 2019 in which Pakistan was rated compliant and largely complaint in 10 out of 40 FATF Recommendations for the Technical Compliance.

After adoption of MER, Pakistan was placed under Post Observation Period by FATF which expired in February 2021.

During the said period, Pakistan carried out major legal reforms with the enactment of 14 Federal Laws & 3 Provincial Laws along with relevant rules and regulations.

The laws not only strengthened the systems in Pakistan but also brought in the sustainability. Pakistan submitted its report to FATF on its Technical Compliance on 1st October 2020.

APG has acknowledged that Pakistan has made notable progress in addressing the Technical Compliance deficiencies identified in its MER and has been re-rated compliant /largely compliant in 31 out of 40 FATF Recommendations. Pakistan has also submitted re-rating requests to APG on four more recommendations in next follow-up report which are under review by APG.

The technical upgrades achieved will help manifest achievement of effectiveness in 11 immediate outcomes of the APG MER process. As a result of this substantial progress, APG has decided to move Pakistan from enhanced (expedited) to enhanced follow-up; and Pakistan will continue to report back to the APG on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.

Read more: https://pakobserver.net/hafeez-for-early-completion-of-remaining-fatf-action-plan-items/